New Orleans Saints 2013 Breakout Candidate: Akiem Hicks

By Alejandro Aviles
Akiem Hicks
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

2013 could be a very big year for New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Akiem Hicks. With the Saints transitioning to a 3-4 defense, Hicks will be one of the players that benefits the most.

In his rookie season, he had 20 tackles and one forced fumble in only 14 games. While those numbers might not jump off the board and wow anyone, they are still a good indicator of Hicks’ potential. He mostly played in a rotational role last season, but could get the opportunity to start in 2013.

It is not sure where Hicks will get most of his playing time because there has been talk of him playing nose tackle as well as defensive end in the 3-4 scheme. One thing is for sure: Hicks will be an integral part of the Saints’ defensive line next season. Given his versatility, he should make a big impact for the Saints’ defense next season and could have a breakout season in just his second year in the NFL.

The Saints really did their homework on Hicks in last year’s NFL draft, and it would appear that the team will reap the benefits of his progression this season. Do not be surprised if Hicks becomes a defensive force for the Saints because he will be an absolute nightmare for opposing teams.

The Saints will have a brand new defense in 2013 so the players must learn it and be able to perform. That should not be a problem for Hicks as he looks to be a breakout star.

Alejandro Aviles is the Featured Writer for the New Orleans Saints at Rant Sports @aaviles312

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