5. Akiem Hicks
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Yes, the defense allowed more yards in a single season than any other defense has in NFL history.
Yet, there were individual bright spots. Like Lofton and Jordan, Akiem Hicks is one those. A third-round pick out of the University of Regina, few were sure how Hicks would hold up against NFL-level talent and a long season.
Turns out, he held up just fine and likely cemented himself as a cornerstone of New Orleans’ defensive line of the future. He might have finished with only 20 tackles, but he was a constant nuisance to the interior of offensive lines throughout the season.
In one play, he provided a snap shot of just what he can do when he has fully learned the game. Against the Denver Broncos, he tore through the middle and forced a fumble that New Orleans recovered. That play was the only bright spot in an otherwise long and gruesome game.