2014 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Walt Aikens, CB, Liberty

CB Walt Aikens dives to tackle Jeff Janis during the Senior Bowl - Stacy Revere

There are 7 rounds in the NFL draft, plus undrafted free agency. The Giants frequently scour smaller schools looking for late-round gems. Walt Aikens could be one of them.

With the re-signing of Trumaine McBride and the free-agent additions of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Walter Thurmond, the New York Giants' secondary seems solidified for the 2014 season. However, both McBride and Thurmond are on 1-year deals, which could mean that the Giants are in the market for a developmental corner.

Walt Aikens began his college career at Illinois after being recruited by Clemson and Louisville. As a freshman at Illinois Aikens started five games (at safety), notching 32 tackles and breaking up two passes.

However, he was kicked off the team and out of the school following an arrest and guilty plea (with regards to possessing a computer taken from another dorm room).

He then found himself at Liberty College, where he starred as a cornerback.

Pros

- Prototypical size for an outside corner (6-foot-1, 205 pounds)

- Long arms

- Smooth backpedal

- Experience in both man and zone coverage

- Nice awareness in zone and excellent closing burst

- Flashes ball skills

- Aggressive in run support

Cons

- Played against a low level of competition

- Seems to lack elite long speed

- Character red flags will need to be evaluated

Does He Fit With The Giants?

He fits the physical mold the Giants like in their cornerbacks. He's also the type of prospect the Giants like to look for on Day 3 of the draft. Aikens is similar to Mario Manningham and Ahmad Bradshaw, both of whom were talented prospects who saw their draft stock drop due to run-ins with the law.

With a very solid secondary, the Giants could look to add a prospect like Aikens, and groom him for a year to expose the talent that drew interest from Clemson, Louisville, and Illinois and let him dominate the Big South conference.

Prospect Video

Walt Aikens vs Monmouth (2013) (via Aaron Aloysius)

Big Board Rankings

Big Blue View - Not Ranked

Mocking The Draft - Not Ranked

CBS Sports - 207

Draft Countdown - Not Ranked

Draft Tek - 161

Final Thoughts

Walt Aikens isn't a big name ... He might not even get drafted. However, he has a lot of the tools NFL teams look for. He's got the size and length, he's smooth in coverage, closes quickly, and is a tenacious tackler.

Playing in the Big South conference will give teams pause, as they need to figure out if he can make the leap in competition to the NFL. As well, they need to check into his legal troubles and see if he is a risk or just a kid who made a mistake.

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