Carolina Panthers

Charlotte sends 3 to NFL in fourth round of draft

Three defensive players from Charlotte were drafted in the fourth round Saturday, including a pair of defensive backs.

Former Duke and Charlotte Latin cornerback Ross Cockrell was taken by Buffalo with the 109th pick. After struggling early in his career at Duke, Cockrell finished with 12 interceptions and a school-record 41 pass breakups.

Walt Aikens Jr., who played at Harding, was drafted 125th by Miami. Aikens was dismissed from Illinois in 2010 following an arrest for his involvement in a dorm room theft of electronics.

He went to Liberty, where he was a three-time, All-Big South player. He ran the 40 in 4.49 seconds at Liberty’s pro day.

Atlanta took former Notre Dame and Ardrey Kell outside linebacker Prince Shembo at No. 139.

Shembo acknowledged at the combine in February he was the Notre Dame player connected to a sexual assault complaint made by a former St. Mary’s College female student who committed suicide 10 days later. Shembo was not charged in the incident.

Shembo finished with 145 tackles at Notre Dame, and his 19.5 sacks rank seventh in school history.

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