Ronnie Hickman is living his dream with the Browns right now

Mar 2, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Ohio State defensive back Ronnie Hickman, Jr. (DB46) speaks to
Mar 2, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Ohio State defensive back Ronnie Hickman, Jr. (DB46) speaks to / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

In three years at Ohio State, Ronnie Hickman racked up 157 tackles and three picks. He then headed to the NFL and despite not hearing his name called during the draft, Hickman landed in a good spot with the Cleveland Browns.

Arguably their top undrafted free agent signing, Hickman joined a secondary that was in need of depth following the release of John Johnson III and the departure of Ronnie Harrison. A case could have been made for him to already be fourth on the depth chart behind Juan Thornhill, Grant Delpit, and D'Anthony Bell.

However, that's not as clear now that Rodney McLeod was added as well — especially since McLeod has a history with new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.

Even with the uncertainty about his status on the 53-man roster, Hickman understands that others would love to be in his shoes, even as a fringe player, and he's got the perfect attitude because of that.

"There’s a lot of guys that would kill to be in the position I’m in right now. It’s just an opportunity to fulfill a dream I’ve had since I was 5."

Hickman via

While speaking with the media during rookie minicamp in Berea, Hickman admitted it was a "tough pill to swallow" not being drafted. And while he sounded genuinely happy for his fellow Buckeyes who were selected, he added that it's now on him to prove he belongs — and he knows he has the skill set to stick around.

"I know what I can do physically and mentally and what I bring to football. So it’s just on me right now to showcase that and prove to these coaches, and everyone in this building that I belong here."

Hickman via

Nicknamed "Rocket" by his father (who said he tried to "take off" even before learning to walk, Hickman lived up to his moniker with OSU. He's a fierce player who excels near the line of scrimmage.

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That fearlessness should come in handy for him on special teams, which will be his way to the roster as a rookie. From there, he just needs to continue working and he can find a role as an 'in-the-box' safety, similar to what they had in Harrison.