Christian Wilkins, DL
School: Clemson | Conference: ACC
College Experience: Senior | Age: 23
Height / Weight: 6-3 / 315 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 1st Round
NFL Comparison: Fletcher Cox
Christian Wilkins was a 5-star prospect from Suffield, Connecticut who was tight-lipped about who he was leaning towards the entire recruiting process. Wilkins played his decision close to the chest and announced he would be attending Clemson late in the recruiting season. He chose the Tigers over Penn State, Alabama, Ohio State, and Stanford to name a few. He got to work immediately as a freshman contributing on the field behind Kevin Dodd and Carlos Watkins. Wilkins entered the starting lineup the next season after Dodd graduated to the NFL. He quickly and clearly established himself as a force not only on Clemson’s defensive line but in the country. Wilkins could have left for the NFL after the 2017 season. He finished his degree in 2.5 years so schoolwork wasn’t a concern but at the end of that season got a 2nd round grade from the draft advisory board. Wilkins knew he was a 1st round talent, and most of the draft pundit thought so too, but he wanted to go back to school to solidify that. Wilkins had another great season and won another championship with his teammates. Outside of his success on the football field he is known for his high character, attractive personality, and leadership skills. The team that selects Wilkins will not only be getting a first round talent but also a potential ‘face of the franchise’ type player.
- Good size, strength, and agility for the position.
- Disruptive, plays with explosive burst and agility. Can split gaps and give offensive linemen fits. Shows power and good functional strength. Can overpower linemen and even at times take them off their feet. Shows good lateral movement for a defensive linemen and can pursue and close in on the ball carrier quickly. Shows really good awareness and vision and knows how to fight through blocks and match the trajectory of the ball carrier in the run game.
- As a pass rusher he also uses his strength, power, and lower body to collapse the pocket. Hands are heavy and powerful. Uses his agility, flexibility, and speed to work inside and is relentless in his effort to get to the quarterback. Commands double teams. Forces QBs to move and affects throws. Hands are also active in passing lanes and he can bat them down.
- Team player. Asked to do everything under the sun for Clemson. Play RB? Check. Play Linebacker? Check. Play Safety? Check. Catch passes on punt fakes? Check. Drop into coverage? Check.
- Regarded as a likable, high character person with great leadership abilities.
- Doesn’t have the ideal length you want out of your DL players. When faced with more quality OL he had a harder time separating himself.
Let’s see his work:
Free advice for college OL Coaches/OCs: Don’t expect your guy to reach Christian Wilkins. It ain’t happening. Miami RT Tyree St. Louis is a good player, and had little trouble with Austin Bryant in this game...but it’s even too much of an ask for him. pic.twitter.com/8xuM9XgGaM— Chad Reuter (@chad_reuter) August 15, 2018
Christian Wilkins is the definition of a 'woah wow' player. He'll get washed out of the gap on one play and then wow you with his athleticism the very next one. pic.twitter.com/L455Yqammt— Jordan Reid (@JReidNFL) January 28, 2019
Holy Christian Wilkins pic.twitter.com/GX0QEQOniz— Tiger Commenter (@TigerCommenter) February 1, 2019
Christian Wilkins through the years: Fake punts, blocked field goals, receiving TD, rushing TD, a National Championship and yes, a split. pic.twitter.com/jjGWWbpAW8— Seldom Used Reserve (@seldomusedrsrv) November 16, 2018
How He Would Fit On The Redskins
Wilkins is a player I would categorize as too good to pass up on if he made it to 15. From a talent perspective he’s a top 10 pick but because of the depth of other positions in this draft and the desperation for quarterbacks it could be possible that Wilkins somehow slips. He could play any position on the defensive line but I think its best if he move outside to DE where he could show off all his physical skills. Adding a player of his caliber and with his potential could arguably make the Redskins defensive line the best in the league especially after he learns some things from coach Tomsula. As I mentioned in Zach Allen’s profile the Redskins identity is their defensive line. Wilkins not only would elevate the unit but really hammer home some of the character and leadership rebuilding that the team has needed and has just started to undergo. If Wilkins is there at 15 the Redskins have to consider him.