2015 NFL DRAFT

Walt Aikens, CB

School: Liberty  |  Conference: BSOU
College Experience: Senior  |  Hometown: Charlotte, NC
Height/Weight: 6-1 / 203 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.
97133

Player Lowdown

Combine Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
---- ----
Workout Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
4.492.661.5913 -09'10"4.427.12

Strengths Weaknesses

STRENGTHS: Boasts a tapered, athletic build with long arms (32 1/4") and good overall muscle definition. Light feet and loose hips give him the fluidity to handle coverage responsibilities. Asked to play press-man and off-man often for the Flames, showing the athleticism and confidence to handle either role.

Gets an initial jam on the receiver when in press, turning and running with receivers fluidly. Good patience when off or zone but keeps his eyes peeled on the quarterbacks and has a quick burst to close on the ball. Good (perhaps not great) straight-line speed down the sideline, but accelerates smoothly and has a second gear, when necessary.

Highly competitive in run support. Aggressively fights through blocks, extending his arms to initial contact with receivers and is willing to sacrifice his body to knock ball-carriers to the ground. Sound drag-down tackler who rips at the ball. Good vision to set up blocks with the ball in his hands.

Impressed at the Senior Bowl with his confidence, quickly proving that he belonged on the same field.

WEAKNESSES: May not possess elite top-end speed. Gets a little grabby down the sideline, as he's highly aggressive and will extend his arm. Tracks the ball well but shows only average ball-skills overall.

Pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft charges in July 2010 and served two weeks in Champaign County jail for possessing a computer taken from a dorm room.

COMPARES TO: Keenan Lewis, New Orleans Saints - Aikens will have to work hard to develop into the consistent starter that Lewis has proven himself to be in successful stops with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Saints, but the aggression and athleticism are there to project him as a legitimate rotational player early in his career with the possibility of developing into a starter as he adjusts to the speed of the NFL.

--Rob Rang

Player Overview

Aikens isn't your typical small-school prospect. He chose Illinois after being recruited by Clemson and Louisville and impressed as a freshman, starting five games at safety, recording 32 tackles and two passes broken up.

An arrest for theft prompted then-Illinois head coach Ron Zook to kick Aikens off the team and he wound up at Liberty, where he starred on the football team and also spent time with the Flames' basketball and track and field squads.

Aikens is a three-time Big South all-conference honoree, taking first-team honors in 2013 and second-team accolades in 2011 and 2012. His impressive play earned him a spot at the Senior Bowl, where he played well, impressing with his frame, athleticism and confidence.

He tied for the team lead in 2013 with 62 tackles and helped Liberty rank No. 5 in the country in interceptions (19), individually recording three interceptions to give him seven for his career. Aikens also forced six fumbles over his career.

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Player News
05/12/2014 - Dolphins go 'small-school' with several picks...In the lower rounds the Dolphins hit the smaller schools hard. Cornerback Walt Aikens, the fourth-round pick, attended Liberty. Tight end Arthur Lynch, the team's first fifth-round pick attended Georgia. But linebacker Jordan Tripp, the second fifth-round pick, attended Montana. Wide receiver Matt Hazel, the sixth-round pick, attended Coastal Carolina. Defensive end Terrence Fede (pronounced Fuh-day) attended Marist (NY) College. That means Taylor, Aikens, Tripp, Hazel and Fede all played against what could be considered inferior talent in college. That would seem to make NFL projections a little more difficult. Hickey, however, defended going with players from smaller schools.

"The important thing, and part of what scouting that it all comes back to, is evaluating the traits that a player has because those things you can translate those," he said. "Again, level of competition varies depending on the week from week-to-week, from game-to-game, from opponent-to-opponent. You focus on the traits and do those traits translate to success at the next level. The players we saw, we saw enough in their skill set that we feel like they will be able to translate to the next level." Regardless, the Dolphins' draft is more of a wait-and-see affair right now. They filled needs, but there's lots of room for doubt as to whether they selected NFL-quality talent. - The Sports Xchange

 

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