Safety Elijah Hicks and Punter Trenton Gill Wrap Up the Bears 2022 NFL Draft Class

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Safety Elijah Hicks and Punter Trenton Gill Wrap Up the Bears 2022 NFL Draft Class

Chicago Bears

Ryan Poles’ first NFL Draft class as the Chicago Bears’ general manager is in the books.

After a whirlwind Day 3 that included four trades that ultimately netted the Bears five additional picks, here’s what the class looks like in its entirety:

Chicago’s football team made eight picks on Saturday. That is impressive, especially once you consider how the team came into the weekend with six total draft picks. An absolute bang-up job by Poles to come through and execute his plan to accumulate late-round draft capital. It took some time for Poles to achieve what he had been publicly stating for weeks when it came to his desire to tack on some picks. Better late than never, right?

As for the selections to close out the draft, the back-to-back picks went like this:

The Bears adding a stout defender with the name “Hicks” is something I think fans can vibe with when it comes to the first of Chicago’s two seventh-round picks. That Cal’s Elijah Hicks has potential positional versatility having played cornerback before transitioning to safety last year piques my interest. Knowing how poorly the secondary play was last year stands as reason enough to draft a third defensive back this weekend.

As for the punter, Trenton Gill, the Bears got a big one. Literally. The North Carolina State product checks in at 6-4 and 220 pounds. That is a big boy booting the football. Gill is coming off a senior season in which he earned first-team All-ACC honors, averaging 45.1 yards per punt, getting 23 fair catches, and landing 31 inside the 20. In addition to his punting duties, Gill was a kickoff specialist who came through with 114 touchbacks on his 198 kickoffs. Raw leg strength isn’t Cairo Santos’ specialty. So, if the Bears are wanting to simply boot the ball through the end zone after touchdowns, maybe Gill is the guy to do that job.

Frankly, I hope we see more of Gill’s kickoffs than his punts in the years to come.

The NFL Draft is over. But our coverage is not, as we’ll soon turn to an obsessive UDFA signing watch shortly.


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Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.