Our rookie scouting reports combine film and analytics to provide the best possible predictions for player performance. With the 2023 NFL Draft right around the corner, let’s take a look at the scouting report for Ohio State safety Ronnie Hickman.
Ronnie Hickman NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Safety
- School: Ohio State
- Year: Senior
Hickman was a four-star recruit out of DePaul Catholic High School in Wayne, New Jersey. He had no shortage of offers from Power Five programs. After careful consideration, he chose to play college football at Ohio State.
Unfortunately, Hickman’s freshman year was derailed before it even began. He tore his ACL during his senior season at high school. Not being fully recovered by the time the 2019 college football campaign began, Hickman redshirted his entire freshman year.
In 2020, he was ready to play but appeared in just three games. It wasn’t until 2021 that he finally came into his own as a player.
As a redshirt sophomore, Hickman played in 13 games for a total of over 700 snaps. He recorded 99 total tackles, one sack, and two interceptions.
In what would be his final season in college, Hickman’s performance regressed a bit. He only registered 53 total tackles, one sack, and one interception.
Given his redshirt status and COVID rules, Hickman forewent two more years of eligibility to declare for the 2023 NFL Draft.
Overall, Hickman finished his college career with 82 solo tackles, 75 assisted tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, one sack, three interceptions, and seven passes defended.
Tony Pauline’s Scouting Report for Ronnie Hickman
Strengths: Nice-sized safety who is consistently around the action. Instinctive, quickly locates the ball, and takes proper angles to the action. Displays solid range going sideline to sideline and possesses a closing burst and an aggressive style. Fires up the field to defend the run and drives his shoulders through ball handlers. Effectively picks up coverage assignments and gets outside the numbers to help cornerbacks when the ball is in the air.
Weaknesses: Shows indecision in man-coverage responsibilities. Minimally effective in deep coverage. Looked terrible during coverage drills at the Senior Bowl.
Overall: Hickman was an active run-defending safety for Ohio State who was also effective against the pass when facing the action. He possesses the size and style to be used as a zone safety and make a roster as an eighth DB.
Ronnie Hickman Combine Measurements and Results
- Height: 6’0 1/2″
- Weight: 203 pounds
- Arm Length: 33″
- Hand Size: 9 3/8″
- Bench Press: N/A
- 40-Yard Dash: N/A
Ohio State S Ronnie Hickman Current Draft Projection
On Tony Pauline’s Big Board, Hickman ranked 209th overall and is projected to go in the sixth round. With a 3.35 grade, he is Pauline’s SAF17 in this class.
Suffice it to say Hickman’s college career didn’t exactly go as planned. As a highly recruited player, Ohio State undoubtedly expected more from him. One can only wonder how much his ACL tear impacted his ability to get going at the college level.
College production is the most predictive indicator of NFL success. Hickman did play reasonably well over his final two seasons, but it would be a reach to say he was impressive. It was good enough to likely get him drafted. But he’s no lock to make an NFL roster. As a Day 3 pick, it’s always a challenge.
Hillman projects as roster depth for an NFL team. In a best-case scenario, perhaps he can work his way into a rotational role. But overall, Hillman would do well to simply find a consistent spot on an NFL roster.
Listen to the PFN Scouting Podcast
List to the PFN Scouting Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Scouting Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms. Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Scouting Podcast on our Scouting YouTube channel.