Chicago Bears End of season evaluation: Akiem Hicks

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 18: Corey Linsley
CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 18: Corey Linsley /

How Chicago Bears defensive end Akiem Hicks 2017 play out compared to expectations

With the Chicago Bears season now over, we will go through the entire roster and review how each player dealt with their preseason expectations. For this edition, Akiem Hicks

Preseason Expectations:

When the Chicago Bears extended Hicks before the season, there was a feeling in the air that 2017 was going to be special. Hicks was coming off of the best statistical season of his career, and it looked like he had finally found a defensive fit. The Bears saw the magic too and were to quick to pen Hicks to the fairly reasonable deal.

2017 Review:

Did Hicks ever live up to expectations? What a year. While the national media did not enjoy it in the same way, Hicks season could have been stacked up against any 3-4 defensive end. He is very easily a Pro Bowler if the positions actually made sense, and early into his season was making All-Pro noise. Hicks hit a lull here and there, but still qualifies for tremendous accolades, and topped his career high 2016 with an even better 2017 season.

Offseason outlook

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Hicks is in the prime of his career and is signed on for reasonable money. His fit beside Eddie Goldman is perfect, and assuming the new coaching staff leaves well enough alone the duo should only ascend on their strong 2017 seasons. In a league that is heading towards a nickel oriented league, that duo with the depth they have is enough to fire it back up and go out and compete. Now the question is if the rest of the team can catch up.