Jordan Hicks – LB
Jordan Hicks has been a tackling machine for the Vikings this season. Through the first four games, he has racked up 38 tackles, and that’s averaged out to 9.5 per game. The problem with Hicks hasn’t been the tackling, it has been his pass coverage. It was again weak versus the Saints.
Hicks has struggled to cover running backs and tight ends that cross over the middle or attack the flats. He always seems to be a step behind and is rarely able to make the catch contested.
He did perform a little better in this area against the Lions last week, but New Orleans players like Adam Trautman, Mark Ingram, and even Latavius Murray were able to haul in some passes in London, and that isn’t good.
The Vikings’ run defense has been an issue all season long, and it is pretty surprising. They have big guys upfront in Harrison Phillips and Dalvin Tomlinson. Those two should be able to eat up blocks, freeing up Eric Kendricks and Hicks to make the play.
For whatever reason though, they aren’t able to take down the ball carrier until after he’s run for five to seven yards. This has been a huge problem for Minnesota’s defense, and it is a wonder that they are 3-1.
Hicks is probably going to have well over 100 tackles this season. He just needs to start making those a little closer to the line of scrimmage, and he also needs to improve his pass coverage, or these close games are going to start to go the other way.