Hicks hopes his path makes him a better pro

METAIRIE, La. (AP) - Akiem Hicks looks the part of an NFL defensive tackle, even if his resume does not stack up against those of most players selected in the first half of the NFL draft.

The closest the 6-foot-5, 324-pound Hicks came to playing major college football was the few months he spent at LSU before dropping out without playing a down.

Yet Hicks, who wound up finishing his college career in Canada, says he "wouldn't change a thing" because the setback forced him to grow up quickly.

The third-round pick has participated in rookie camp and his first three offseason practices with the full squad this week.

Assistant head coach Joe Vitt says Hicks is "very athletic for a big man," adding that he is "very happy with him so far."

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)