Round 4 -Safety fourth
With the 132nd overall pick, the LA Rams select S Jaden Hicks, Washington State. The Rams may be pleased with the growth of both Russ Yeast and Quentin Lake, but the Rams secondary will need to add some competition, and depth is always an objective with defensive backs who have a history of getting injured.
Hicks will stand out in the Rams secondary pretty quickly. Standing 6-foot-3 and weighing in at 212 pounds, fans who see him practice may confuse him with a linebacker or a wide receiver. And to be honest, that will not offend Hicks in the least.
Any defensive back chosen on Day 3 will be raw and need some coaching up to develop into a true NFL starter, and Jaden Hicks is no exception. He is a huge bodied defensive back who is more at home in man than zone coverage. Because he has less comfort in zone coverages, he tends to hesitate when closing on the football after it is released.
But you can bet that LA Rams DB Coach Aubrey Pleasant can coach that hesitancy right out of him.
What makes Hicks so special is the fact that if the Rams secondary coaching and practices can smoot out this young man's rough spots, he is a very physically intimidating specimen on the football field. Sizewise, his fluidity, and even his physicality are among the top of the class among the 2024 rookie class in terms of available defensive backs.
While not a ball hog, he can make sneaky moves on the ball to record an occasional interception. And you can expect him to make the tackle if the ball carrier is in his vicinity. While those are solid data points, the Rams are attracted to Hicks out of the need to get big in the secondary, and to hard halt the ability of opposing teams to sneak in the occasional big plays.
Hicks has an NFL enforcer mindset. That is, if a receiver is in his area, they will know it after Hicks lays down a hard hitting tackle. Rams fans will love seeing Hicks hit a receiver hard, and will have flashbacks to the epic ball-jarring hits of former Rams safety, Nick Scott.