New Orleans Saints Draft Grade: Akiem Hicks Pick Is an F
Well there's a shocker for you Who Dat Nation.
This is worse than Seattle taking Bruce Irvin in the first round.
I had Hicks graded out as a late fifth-early sixth round pick in my rankings, and just about every scouting service had him around there as well.
With better players on the board, the Saints take a raw prospect three rounds higher than he should be. Hicks is the epitome of a boom-or-bust prospect. He has the talent to be a top defensive tackle in this league, but this pick looks eerily similar to the Al Woods pick a couple of years ago. Woods, who actually played at LSU, wound up being cut before the season started even though New Orleans traded up into the top of the round to get him.
Hicks was very productive in Canada, but... that's Canada. It's not the level of competition to, say, a Jared Crick that was still on the board. Crick has similar attributes as Hicks, but at a higher level of competition in the Big 12 with Nebraska. Also still on the board was tight end Ladarius Green out of Louisiana-Lafayette, who was brought in by the coaching staff a few weeks back.
Not the best of picks by Loomis and co., but their track record with small-school prospects is undeniable (see: Evans, Jahri, Colston, Marques). At this point of the draft, and with limited picks, I think they would have been better served picking players that could help this year, not down the line.
So until Hicks proves me otherwise, I have the Saints reaching for him as a "F" in my book.
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