Stacy Revere/Getty Images
Walt Aikens has the size the Washington secondary needs at cornerback.
NFL.com Media analyst Bucky Brooks has Walt Aikens going to Washington one round earlier. By contrast, Bleacher Report columnist Matt Miller has Aiekns staying on the board until the sixth round.
However, Allen and Gruden should hope they'll find the physically imposing, but technically limited defensive back still available somewhere in between.
Aikens has excellent size at 6'1" and 205 pounds. However, the former Liberty ace has never combined his frame with refined skills and keen instincts.
Instead, he is a rough and rowdy prospect who is likely to be seen by many as too raw. Yet despite his flaws, there is a place in Washington for Aikens.
Based on size and tenacity alone, he suits the direction this secondary should be steered toward. Aikens is a natural press-based cornerback. The Washington secondary had some rare bright moments in 2013 when given license to jam receivers at the line, a strength of Aikens' game.
His major weakness is a lack of what CBS Sports pundit Rob Rang refers to as "elite top-end speed," and a tendency to be "a little grabby down the sideline."
Those deficiencies, along with an arrest for on-campus theft while at the University of Illinois in 2010, will consign Aikens to the top of the fifth round. That's where he will be worth a risk for a team in need of another tough corner.
The franchise dumped free agents Josh Wilson and Jerome Murphy and has room for new blood at the position. In fact, the need at corner is actually a little more pressing than the one at safety.
The latter position was a glaring weakness last season, but an infusion of experience can be expected to steady the ship. Bringing in greybeard Ryan Clark was a smart move.
He is an intelligent pro who knows how to marshal a secondary. His savvy will complement aggressive fellow veteran Brandon Meriweather, who actually played well in the final handful of games last season.
The return from a season-wrecking Lisfranc injury of 2013's fourth-round pick Phillip Thomas is also a major boost. He is a potential playmaker worth keeping an eye on.
The news that Tanard Jackson will be reinstated, broken by CBS Sports reporter Jason La Canfora, may not have generated much buzz. Indeed, the team is taking a true wait-and-see approach on Jackson's potential contribution, per ESPN.com writer John Keim.
But all being well, Jackson gives the safety position another veteran presence, one familiar with secondary coach Raheem Morris. The Redskins may be dabbling in stop-gap solutions at safety, but that is no bad thing in what is a weak year from prospects at the position.
Loading up on experience and waiting for more marquee reinforcements next year is a good move after a season spent suffering through the mistakes of youth.
Things are the opposite at cornerback, where two potential veteran starters should be complemented by some youthful verve.
The returning DeAngelo Hall and new arrival Tracy Porter should have the inside track on the starting jobs. That would let last year's top draft pick David Amerson continue developing the technique to complement his size.
Aikens, who can also operate at safety, would learn alongside Amerson under the stewardship of Morris.