Akiem Hicks to be a defensive end in Saints 3-4 defense

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With new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan taking control of the New Orleans Saints defense, there were bound to be some changes to scheme and personnel as the Saints attempt to overhaul a defense that ranked dead last in the league last season.

One of those moves will be shifting a player to a new spot on the defensive line.

According to Mike Triplett of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Akiem Hicks is starting out as a defensive end in the Saints new scheme.

Hicks was expected to be a nose tackle with the ability to also slide out to the defensive end position with the Saints. However, after selecting defensive tackle John Jenkins in the third round, the Saints felt he could better be utilized at defensive end. Though Hicks will initially be called upon to play the end position, he’ll likely be used all along the Saints defensive front.

Hicks appeared in 14 games last season for the Saints. He recorded 20 tackles and a forced fumble as a rotational lineman.