Earlier this week, the Miami Dolphins signed offensive lineman Artis Hicks to a one-year, $2 million deal. An eleven-year pro, Hicks has spent time with the Phildaelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, Washington Redskins, and Cleveland Browns. He has appeared in 115 games, with 70 starts.
Hicks is naturally a guard, but has spent time at right tackle. While this sounds like it should add strength and depth to the Miami offensive line, especially on the right side that struggled horribly last year, Chris Pokorny of Dawgs By Nature, the SB Nation Cleveland Browns site, does not see it that way.
"I think the expectations were somewhat high for Artis Hicks, because when the Browns signed him to a one-year deal, we heard he had started 10 games the previous season for the Redskins. Hicks was penciled in as our backup guard, but he never really ended up playing at guard. Instead, whenever starting right tackle Tony Pashos was injured, Hicks would rotate with backup lineman Oniel Cousins at the right tackle position. Neither Cousins nor Hicks were good at right tackle; it was miserably having to watch either of them try to play the position. With that said, the coaching staff did end up giving more reps to Cousins than they did Hicks, so Hicks did not play a whole lot.
"If the Dolphins intend on using Hicks at guard, he might end up being pretty decent since that was the position he was previously known for. Unfortunately, all he did in Cleveland was play tackle, so I can't comment on him much as a guard."
That's not exactly a glowing endorsement of Hicks coming to the Dolphins. I do think the Dolphins intend to use Hicks as a backup guard, and only a tackle if necessary. But, Pokorny's comments about Hicks doesn't exactly instill confidence. Hopefully his ability at guard outweighs what Pokorny saw with Hicks playing right tackle.