Thursday, June 13, 2024

Green Bay Packers UDFA Profile: Albany WR Julian Hicks

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Albany wide receiver Julian Hicks went undrafted and initially unsigned as an undrafted rookie. He was one of 18 tryouts that the Packers had in for rookie minicamp, and following an impressive performance over those two days, he was signed.

Given the Packers’ rich history of UDFAs not only making the team but eventually becoming impact players, let’s get to know each of these signees.

Next up is Hicks. If you missed the previous profiles, you can find them below:

RB Jarveon Howard
DT James Ester
LB Ralen Goforth
OL Donovan Jennings
LS Peter Bowden
WR Dimitri Stanley

Height: 6-2
Weight: 201
RAS: 9.18

College profile

Breakdown: Hicks spent six years in college. His 2018 season came with Central Michigan, in which they won only one game. In 2019, Hicks transferred to Akron, where the Zips went 0-12. In 2020, with Akron, Hicks would catch only two passes during the shortened COVID season. In 2021, Hicks’ first with Albany, he missed the entire year with an injury.

Then in 2022, Hicks started to gain some traction, catching 24 passes for 347 yards and six touchdowns. The 2023 season would be a breakout year for him, totaling 820 yards at an impressive 16.4 yards per catch with 11 scores. In back-to-back games, Hicks had 162 yards against New Hampshire and 188 yards against Rhode Island.

With a loaded wide receiver room, the Packers didn’t draft a receiver nor initially sign an undrafted rookie either. However, Hicks checks a lot of the boxes that the Packers look for at the position. He has a bigger frame at 6-2 – 201 pounds, tested well athletically, and has experience as a run-blocker with 702 career snaps, according to PFF. If Hicks is going to stick, even on the practice squad, he will have to show he is able to contribute on special teams.

GM Brian Gutekunst has stressed the importance of competition throughout each position group, and Hicks’ size and speed adds some upside to the back end of the receiver room.

They said it: “Just a lot of adversity going through my career,” Hicks said via the Times Union. “Transferring schools, and like I said, being a walk-on, it was a lot. And then finally coming here to Albany and getting hurt, being out the whole season, it was tough for me. You know, I was going through a lot. So I’m just blessed to be able to be back out there. It was overwhelming at first because it’s just been so long. It was definitely a great feeling.”

Story originally appeared on Packers Wire

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