Akiem Hicks: Potentially non-sucky?

From Pro Football Focus’ review of last week’s game:

One of the bright spots was the play of rookie DT Akiem Hicks, who put in his second strong performance in a row, logging 42 snaps. The third-round pick out of Canada, predicted to be a project, has contributed quicker than expected and looks to be developing into one of the better players on the New Orleans defensive line.

Andrew Juge at The Saints Nation [agrees][2]:

The rookie got extended playing time and was very disruptive up the middle. This kid needs to start here pretty soon. He had 8, yes, 8 tackles! He’s been one of the very few bright in this horrendous start to the 2012 campaign. At least the Saints seem to have hit on the high draft pick investment in a promising young defensive player for once. Sure, he wasn’t perfect, but he was physical, disruptive and active. That’s a lot more than you can say for the team’s veterans.

The Saints haven’t had a good group at defensive tackle in about a decade. Hicks might be the start of a change. Or, he might just look good compared to the rest of the d-line dreck.

[2]: http://thesaintsnation.com/2012-articles/september/saints-nation-saints-defensive-and-special-teams-player-grades-vs-chiefs.html