DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — Two cornerbacks drafted by the Miami Dolphins a year ago haven’t made of an impact yet, so new general manager Dennis Hickey took another one Saturday.
Hickey devoted a pick to defense for the first time in this year’s NFL draft when he selected Liberty cornerback Walt Aikens in the fourth round.
Aikens will compete for playing time with free agent acquisition Cortland Finnegan and a pair of 2013 rookies who saw little action — second-round pick Jamar Taylor and third-round pick Will Davis. All are candidates for the job opposite Pro Bowl cornerback Brent Grimes.
Veteran cornerbacks Nolan Carroll, a starter last year, and Dimitri Patterson departed in free agency.
The Dolphins recently flew Aikens in for an interview, and he was glad they drafted him.
“I took a visit a couple of weeks ago and fell in love with the coaches. I have a lot in common with their plans,” he said. “I want to be a starter. I want to be a dominating player.”
Aikens was convicted of misdemeanor theft in 2010 and transferred from Illinois to Liberty.
“I borrowed a laptop from a teammate and it turned out to be stolen,” Aikens said. “The school was trying to set an example of some football players at the time, and they thought it was best if I left.”
At Liberty, Aikens became a three-year starter. He also spent time on the school’s basketball and track teams.
The Dolphins drafted Tennessee right tackle Ja’Wuan James, Louisiana State receiver Jarvis Landry and North Dakota State tackle Billy Turner in the first three rounds.
The trio will give new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor more to work with as he tries to upgrade a unit that scored once in the Dolphins’ final 24 possessions as they lost their final two games to blow a potential playoff berth.
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