Close this search box.

2024 IDP Rookie Profile: Jaden Hicks, DB

Find out what has IDP managers excited about Washington St. DB Jaden Hicks. @Glosser13 shares his thoughts on the most versatile DB in the draft.

The Player

  • Jaden Hicks
  • College: Washington St.
  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 211 lbs.
  • Age: 21 (August 16, 2002)
  • Arm: 31 ½’”
  • Hand: 9 ⅜”
  • Vertical Jump: 37.5”
  • Broad Jump: 10’ 2”
  • 3-Cone Drill: 6.88
  • 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.37

High School

Jaden Hicks comes from a football family. His brother Kalen played for the Hawaii Warriors for four years as a defensive back. Jaden Hicks is a native of Las Vegas, Nevada, where he attended Bishop Gorman High School. He showed out as a junior, recording 27 tackles, seven interceptions, and three interceptions returned for a touchdown. He was named first-team the MaxPreps All-State and All-Southern Nevada. Unfortunately, Hicks would not play his senior season due to the Covid-19 pandemic. He was rated as a three-star recruit and the #6 player overall from Nevada in the 2021 class.


Hicks would redshirt his first season with the Washington State Cougars. He would be two full years removed from playing competitive football. When Hicks finally got his chance, he did not disappoint. The Washington State DB finished second on the team in 2022 with 76 tackles. He recorded three straight games that season with 10 tackles or more. Hicks played 750 snaps in 2022 and earned a 66.0 overall player grade, according to Pro Football Focus. He was versatile, playing at least 100 snaps in the slot, at deep safety, and as an in-the-box safety.

The Washington State defensive back would come back stronger in 2023, improving statistically in tackles, tackles for loss, sacks, and interceptions. His PFF grade would improve to 76.6, and he would rank 13th among all safeties in run stops (24). Hicks averaged 6.5 tackles per game and played nearly 800 snaps for the Cougars defense. He would play 100 snaps or more at three different positions for the second straight season. Over his last 25 college games, Hicks would register 155 stops, 3.5 sacks, 3 interceptions, and 10 passes defended. He would make a name for himself and declare himself one of the best safeties in the 2024 NFL draft.


Size and Frame

Jaden Hicks has the size and frame to be a difference-maker at the NFL level. It’s rare to find a DB with his size and athleticism. He plays with controlled chaos at times, and his frame allows him to get away with the few mistakes he does make. Hicks has an excellent feel for the game, and NFL defensive coordinators could get the most out of him. He has proven effective at multiple positions and could be a very good weapon to create favorable matchups on the defensive side of the ball.

One of the things I appreciate so much from Hicks is how he never seems to be out of a play. He can play lockdown coverage at times just as much as he’s willing to come up and stop a ball carrier for a loss in the run game. This is a strong play by the Washington State defensive back, who is lined up in the slot.

Hicks allows a big cushion to the WR in anticipation that the Washington offense would be looking for a big play. He is all over this route, and honestly, this is probably a ball that shouldn’t have been thrown. The quarterback makes a very good throw into tight coverage, and Hicks is there to make a play. His long arms and impressive ball skills allow him to come away with a spectacular interception. He uses his strength to wrestle this ball away from the wide receiver in a 50/50 ball situation. These are the types of plays that will have him playing a lot of snaps on Sundays.

Anticipation and Instincts

There are some things you can’t teach a good football player. One of those are instincts; some of the best defensive backs rely on this in the NFL. The ability to ‘quarterback’ a defense, especially on the back end, speaks volumes. It is incredibly difficult to do, but a player like Hicks shows poise and leadership that is not all that common in a young player. This is most evident when he’s closer to the line of scrimmage and can make pre-snap reads. However, he relies on his instincts routinely in coverage and it shows on tape.

There were so many plays to choose from, and watching this guy play football can get you excited. He has so much potential, and IDP managers have to be excited about the opportunity to draft him. Jaden Hicks lines up on this play to the stacked tight end side of the formation.

Hicks has the responsibility of one of three players running combination routes with a running back wide open underneath. He is lined up within five yards of the line of scrimmage pre-snap and ends up 15 yards downfield at one point. He recognizes a busted play in the backfield and closes on the running back underneath before the quarterback throws him the ball. Hicks gets to the RB at the same time he catches the pass and stops him for a loss bringing up a third and long for the offense. There is just so much to like on a play like this, and there are not many players with this type of instinct and field awareness at 21 years old.

Development Opportunities 

Eye Discipline

This isn’t as easy to see when watching the highlight film. One of the things that makes defensive backs great at times can also be a curse. When you excel at reading and manipulating opposing quarterbacks, sometimes you can get too trusting. This has buried Hicks on multiple occasions, and his willingness to trust his instincts has led to some busted coverages and getting baited on play-action passes.

This happens to some of the best, even in the NFL, but it’s a part of his game that can hurt him. It comes with the territory of being an instinctual player, but over-committing will have him watching from the sideline if it’s costing his team points. Hicks can improve in this area, especially when he’s lined up against smaller wide receivers who can get in and out of breaks quickly. He tends to focus more on the quarterback’s eyes rather than playing the man. This part of his game will need to be worked on to excel as a man-to-man coverage defensive back in the NFL.

Landing Spot 

The good outweighs the bad when you break down Hicks as a prospect. He has intangibles that you can’t teach. His production, aggressive play style, and potential are off the charts. The defensive back position isn’t typically targeted in the first round of NFL drafts, and there’s nothing wrong with a second or third-round grade. Jaden Hicks projects to be taken in that range, and there should be many suitors in need of his services.

The Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets, and Tennessee Titans could be three teams that are intriguing landing spots for Jaden Hicks. NFL teams will not look at him as a player who will routinely line up 20 yards off the ball. His versatility and effectiveness in both a box safety role and ‘Big Nickel’ will intrigue enough teams to spend decent draft capital on him. Jaden Hicks can be an impact player if placed in the right scheme, and his size alone will make at least one NFL team take a gamble on him.

Fantasy Outlook 

The IDP landscape is constantly evolving, and dynasty managers have to do their best to stay ahead of the curve. In doing so, it is imperative to understand the schemes and usage of players in those schemes. It is beneficial, especially for the longer-tenured defensive coordinators, to understand what players like to do. High-volume tacklers at the defensive back position can be very useful to IDP managers. Consistency is king, and having a player who can produce fantasy points gives you an advantage. Jaden Hicks has the potential to be a difference maker to your IDP rosters, and with the right landing spot, he could be one of the top IDPs in your rookie drafts this off-season.

The Wrap-up 

The importance of knowing the players who are likely to be drafted highly in your rookie drafts is such a bonus. The IDP rookie profiles are something we love to do to give our readers the best information possible. It’s very easy to reference a few industry mock drafts when approaching your yearly rookie drafts, but we aim to give you the good and bad sides of these players. We want the #IDPNerds to be confident in the picks they make to help them win their leagues. As always, we appreciate your support in helping us grow IDP fantasy football together.

Get ready for your rookie draft with the DynastyGM!! Rankings, trade calculator, league analyzer, and much more. Just $4.99/month, or better yet, bundle with the Nerd Herd for just $6.99/month and get extra podcasts, the Dynasty Prospect Film Room, and more.

Share on Social

More to read


Rank Name Position Pos. Rank


Dominate your Dynasty leagues

Dynasty Nerds App is Mission Control for your Dynasty Leagues. Download Now!

Dominate your
Dynasty leagues

Dynasty Nerds App is Mission Control for your Dynasty Leagues. Download Now!

Black Friday Sale

25% OFF 

Coupon Code - holiday25
Sign-up Now
* Terms & Conditions Apply

Log In

Not a member yet?