INDIANAPOLIS – Ronnie ‘Rocket’ Hickman has landed at the NFL Scouting Combine and has plenty to prove as players go through their biggest job interview to date.
Hickman may not be getting the same type of talk as fellow teammates CJ Stroud, Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Paris Johnson but at the end of it all, while all of these players were a team, the draft player is focused on the individual and Hickman is certainly an individual talent.
“I am going to show these teams why they need to pick me,” Hickman said during his media availability. “You want to go as high as you can come draft day, and this is a perfect opportunity to show these teams why they should get you.”
Hickman surpassed the 100-tackle mark during the 2022 season, the first Buckeyes player to do that since linebacker Raekwon McMillan pulled off the same feat. 2023 saw fewer tackles as the Ohio State defense went through some major changes with a new scheme and new coordinator.
Hickman played in 31 games, and it felt like he played 31 different positions while he was part of the Buckeyes. But that also means that he has a lot of versatility that NFL teams can take advantage of and that could mean more opportunity for Hickman to fit into schemes from varying teams and varying defenses.
Don’t try and lock Hickman into playing a strong safety or free safety position, he can do it all.
“I tell coaches wherever you need me I’m going to go out there and play,” Hickman said. “I was blessed and gifted athletically to do both of those things. So anywhere on the defensive side of the ball, I feel like I’m ready to play.”
There seems to be a wide range of opinions about where Hickman may land in terms of the draft and this week along with Ohio State’s upcoming Pro Day will go a long way in determining a draft position and in turn what a rookie contract may look like.
The yearly NFL Scouting Combine really is a rite of passage for young football players and as the event becomes more and more popular, it is must-see viewing for everyone who is considering playing football for a career.
“It’s another step to making your dreams come true,” Hickman said. “It’s something I have dreamt of since I was five and I’m finally here. I grew up watching this stuff on tv. It’s just a blessing and honor to be here, amongst the rest of the best guys in the country.”
Hickman would go on to talk more about what’s next at Ohio State, what it was like going against Ohio State’s back-up quarterbacks who are vying to be Ohio State’s new starting quarterback and so much more.
Check it all out in out video from the NFL Scouting Combine and keep it locked in here with us as attention turns to offense on Friday and Saturday starting with quarterbacks and wide receivers on Friday.