5 Bengals UDFAs who could make a splash this summer

Glenn Adams
Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Clarence Hicks – Mandatory Credit: John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports /

Clarence Hicks (LB/DE), UTSA

UDFA linebacker Clarence Hicks signed with the Bengals despite Cincinnati being only one of two teams not in attendance at the University of San Antonio’s pro day. Those cheeky tigers.

Hicks had an incredible 2021 season, logging 16.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks. He showed that he could be counted on as a pass defender and used his speed to cover tight ends and running backs out of the backfield. Nevertheless, Hicks was at his absolute best when rushing the passer.

Bengals fans were looking for a player who can get after the quarterback. Hicks is that player. Look for the Bengals to use him in an Edge position to maximize his pass-rushing abilities while also allowing him to cover tight ends and spy on mobile quarterbacks.

In other words, versatile.

Hicks will also be able to add to his chances of making a splash if he can use his 4.4 40 speed on special teams. If he can shine there, the coaches will be more inclined to give him opportunities on defense.