Ravens ‘could add’ Akiem Hicks to bolster their defensive line

Ravens, Akiem Hicks Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens, Akiem Hicks Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

The Baltimore Ravens are expected to see plenty of changes to their defensive line in the offseason. But could one of them be the acquisition of longtime Chicago Bears stalwart Akiem Hicks?

That’s at least the opinion of Beacher Report’s Brent Soblkesi who recently detailed “the best player” each team could add this offseason. Hicks received the nod for the Ravens.

At 32-years-old, Hicks would be yet another veteran addition to an already aging defensive line that features the likes of Calais Campbell, Brandon Williams, Derek Wolfe, and Justin Ellis.

That said, the futures of all four of those players remain up in the air with all except Wolfe set to hit the open market. Hicks could be a worthwhile replacement if the Ravens want to go in that direction.

The Ravens should consider signing Akiem Hicks this offseason

A third-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, Hicks spent the first few years of his career with the New Orleans Saints before a brief stint with the New England Patriots in 2015.

But it wasn’t until he joined the Bears that he truly began to emerge as one of the best defensive linemen in football. Hicks totaled seven or more sacks in three consecutive seasons from 2016 to 2018 earning his first and only Pro Bowl nod in 2018.

Despite a lack of national recognition, Hicks has been one of the best interior defensive linemen in the NFL for quite some time. And although age has slowed him down a little, he’s still a very effective player.

In nine games in 2021, Hicks has totaled 25 tackles, 3.5 sacks, nine QB hits, and five tackles for loss while amassing a 72.2 Pro Football Focus grade that ranks 21st out of 127 qualified interior defensive linemen.

He ranks 26th or better in both run defense and as a pass-rusher showing that he’s still as well-rounded of a player as ever even at this age.

With Calais Campbell’s future in doubt, the Ravens could target Hicks as a replacement if the former opts to retire. They could even cut ties with someone like Wolfe in an effort to clear cap space.

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Either way, Akiem Hicks could be of assistance to a Ravens defensive line that needs some work.