GM Ryan Poles has remade the Chicago Bears scouting department significantly over the past month. This includes three new area scouts. Tom Brady arrived to take over the northeast region, while Ryan Cavanaugh came up from Houston to handle the midwest. The only area left uncertain was the west coast. That position appears to have been filled as Poles secured an intriguing name from down south.
Reese Hicks shares a lot in common with Poles. He was an offensive lineman in college, playing for Georgetown. He arrived as an undrafted free agent too. After a few years bouncing between the Chargers and Texans, he began the transition to life after playing. His story gets interesting from there. Unlike Poles, he didn’t move into scouting right away. He spent four years as an account executive for the NBA’s New Orleans Hornets before bouncing between various management and accounting jobs.
Then in 2016, he chose to give scouting a try.
The University of Utah hired him as a recruiting assistant. After one year, he must’ve made a strong impression because the Atlanta Falcons brought him on as a scouting assistant. Then in 2018, they made him one of their full-time pro scouts. A swift rise in that business. His influence can be called positive too since Atlanta has enjoyed some good veteran additions over the past three years, including James Carpenter, Younghoe Koo, and Cordarrelle Patterson.
Reese Hicks, who spent the last 3 seasons as a pro scout for the #Falconshas joined the #Bears as the team’s new West Coast area scout. Hicks played OL w/4 #NFL teams (#Texans, #Bengals, #Broncos, #Chargers) before launching his scouting career. Played at @GtownCollege.
— Neil Stratton (@InsideTheLeague) May 25, 2022
It is clear Poles has a plan for Hicks by making him the west coast scout. Remember, his background is heavily influenced by time spent in that area of the country. He worked in Utah as a recruiter and spent time in both San Diego and Denver. So he already has connections out there he can exploit as he gets comfortable in his new position.
Chicago Bears need a stronger west coast presence.
Despite being a region that is rich in talent every year, the Bears haven’t had a ton of success plucking from it for a long time. Over the past decade, they’ve selected 17 players from what most consider the western area. Only three of them can be considered successful picks.
- Kyle Long (Oregon)
- Charles Leno (Boise State)
- Jaylon Johnson (Utah)
That isn’t a good hit rate, considering how many NFL standouts come from the west coast. Especially California. No doubt the Chicago Bears are hoping Hicks can help them better identify players coming out of top programs from that region. Poles wants better results out there since four of his 11 draft picks were places like Washington, Southern Utah, San Diego State, and Cal this offseason.
It is hard to blame him.
While the southeast remains the hotbed of excellent prospects every year, the Bears haven’t been nearly strong enough in Texas or out west. If they want to start building a strong enough roster to compete for championships, it begins with shoring up areas of the country where their scouting is weakest. Hicks has a significant opportunity to help them do that. The Bears may have gotten someone capable based on his career trajectory of late.
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