Saints once again go north of the border with Hicks
by Kristian Garic,posted Apr 28 2012 7:07AM
As the Saints typicaly do, they went against convential thought in the Draft. The Black & Gold pulled a name out of the hat that wasn't necessaraly on the radar, at least as far as local media and fans go.
The Saints grabbed defensive tackle Akiem Hicks out of the University of Regina with their 3rd round pick. The 6ft 5in 315-pound Hicks has taken a circular route to the NFL and New Orleans. Hicks was a Junior college transfer to LSU but was ruled ineligible after receiving impermissible benefits in 2009. He then worked full time at Direct TV for a year before enrolling at Regina (Canada).
The Saints love his work ethic and love for the game. Hicks has an 84 inch wing span and can eat up double teams in the middle. Assistant coach Joe Vitt insists Hicks was the top guy on their draft board and a player they coveted as they waited to pick in the third round.
I think he's the right fit for the Saints. He makes sense with a need at defensive tackle. Also, the Saints like taking on players with a bit of chip on their shoulder and Hicks has that. The Saints praised his strength and size.
Given the history of Steve Spagnuolo and how he makes his money as a defensive coach is along the front four, the pick of Hicks really makes that much more sense. Broderick Bunkley, Sedrick Ellis, Akiem Hicks, and Tom Johnson is now the early rotation at interior defensive line with the Saints.