Walt Aikens – Cornerback – Liberty University
Size – 6005 – 205 – 4.47
Strong Points: Excellent size, good athlete, speed, dominates level of competition, off-man coverage, zone coverage, tackling, played well in All Star games.
Weak Points: Level of competition, did not see a lot of press man coverage, raw, why did he leave Illinois?
2014 Stats: 62 total tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, three interceptions for 44 yards, 1.0 sacks
Aikens is a fifth-year senior and a 3.5-year starter. He originally enrolled at Illinois in 2009 and started five games at safety. Transferred to Liberty and did not see game action in 2010. Has been a starter at the boundary corner for Liberty the last three seasons.
He has excellent corner size at 6005 – 205 to go along with good speed. His overall athleticism is good. Aikens can stay low in his pedal, has a smooth turn and can transition very quickly. He has the suddenness required to play corner in the NFL.
Aikens plays the boundary corner for Liberty. While you don’t see him in much press coverage, he plays a lot of zone and man off. He has good anticipation and awareness in off-coverage. Aikens doesn’t let the receiver close too much of the cushion and shows that he can mirror out of that type of coverage. He is an alert zone player who consistently keeps good positioning. He has very good ball reactions and no wasted motion when he breaks on the ball. His hands are good and he shows good running instincts after the interception.
With his size, Aikens plays the run well. He shows he can shed blocks and is a consistent tackler. He also has been used some to return kicks, but I haven’t seen enough to say he has NFL return talent.
Overall, Aikens is an interesting talent. He demonstrated at the Senior Bowl that he can play against better competition and he has ideal size. While he is still raw, he has a lot of upside. I can see him being a starter by his second year. Right now, I view Aikens as high “B” level player, but I can see a club with a need drafting him in the second round. Has too much upside. Why he left Illinois needs to be answered.
Grade: B 6.6