The Texas Longhorns held their 2015 pro day this week and while most eyes were likely on defensive tackle Malcolm Brown, there were other potential pro players for teams to get a close look at. The Houston Texans were one of those teams as they are reportedly setting up a visit with linebacker Jordan Hicks.
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The 6’2″ 238 pound Ohio native has some ties to the Texans organization as he knows Houston’s linebacker coach Mike Vrabel. The coach was a star at Ohio State and met Hicks while the younger linebacker was in high school.
"“I know Coach Vrabel from back when I was coming out of high school,” Hicks said Tuesday. “I saw him at the Combine a little bit. Got to speak a little football with him. I’m just excited to show him and everybody who wants to give me a shot what I can do.”"
A nice rapport with one of the coaches could go a long way into making his rookie season a smooth transition, but that doesn’t mean Hicks would have an easy adjustment to the pro game.
Jordan is said to lack instinct and aggressiveness according to his draft profile on NFL.com. They also list other weaknesses such as his inability to consistently beat blockers.
Hicks was a fifth year senior and missed nineteen games in his career due to injury. He had back-to-back season ending injuries in both 2012 and 2013, which may have stunted his development as a player.
He was able to finally blossom in his final season as he racked up 107 tackles, three and a half sacks and two interceptions during the year.
Hicks played outside linebacker for Texas, but in Houston would most likely play inside due to his size and lack of pass rushing ability.
The Texans do have a need for depth at the interior linebacker spot, despite bringing back Akeem Dent to the position. There is also need for bodies due to the injury history of starting inside linebacker Brian Cushing.
The team would have to hope that Hicks is able to stay healthy in the pros in order to be a viable option and not just another guy who pops up on the injury report each season. His full season in 2014 is a reason to hope that all injury issues are behind him.
Hicks is expected to be available sometime in the mid-rounds, with most his earliest projections showing him going in round four.