With the possibility of losing Sheldon Richardson in free agency the Minnesota Vikings will need to look at defensive tackle early in the 2019 NFL Draft. Wilkins will be one of the hottest names at the position come draft day.
Christian Wilkins has been one of the most dominating defensive tackles in college football over the past few years. Not only has he been performing at a high level, but it has come against some pretty stiff competition.
While he has proven he can play pretty much anywhere along the defensive line, many see him making the biggest impact as a 4-3 defensive tackle.
It’s rare you get a defensive tackle like Wilkins that can do it all. He really is the complete package and while he might not have the ceiling as some of the other top defensive tackles in this year’s class, he should be one of the safer picks at the position.
There is little bust potential with Wilkins and it wouldn’t be a shocking if he was making a name for himself in the NFL as early as year two.
Christian Wilkins – DT (Clemson)
Height: 6-foot-3 | Weight: 310 pounds
- All out monster, will do anything he can to get his hands on whoever has the ball
- From a technical aspect, he is extremely advanced
- Not only excels at getting to the quarterback, but also solid against the run
- Can be used in many different ways and packages
- Leader on and off the field
- Has played against some of the best during his time at Clemson
- Versatile for being a big man
- At times gets eaten up by opposing offensive lineman due to his length
- Lacks a quick first step and quickness out of the gate
- Has at times disappeared in games
- Won’t wow you with his athleticism, but makes up for it in effort and creativity
Where he fits with the Minnesota Vikings:
Wilkins really would be a perfect fit along the defensive line. With Sheldon Richardson and Tom Johnson headed to free agency, Minnesota could be looking at a few holes to fill in the position group.
Imagine a defensive line that had Danielle Hunter, Linval Joseph, Everson Griffen, and Christian Wilkins. That is some pretty serious fire power.
If Wilkins were to be picked by the Vikings, fans probably wouldn’t have to wait long to see what he has to offer. He would likely be ready to contribute on day one and it would be a mild upset if he didn’t step in as a day one starter for Mike Zimmer’s defense in Minnesota.
Not only has he proven he can get to the quarterback, but he can also help stop the run. One of the best parts about Wilkins game is his leadership on the field. It’s clear this guy just loves to play football and he is willing to throw his body around at any chance for him to get his hands on the ball carrier.
Why he could fall:
This draft class has a long list of extremely talented defensive tackles that will be going off the board in the top 15 picks of the first round. Not that Wilkins isn’t worthy, but NFL general managers might see one of the other guys as more of a boom pick.
Why he could rise:
This guy has been one of the best in college football for the past few years. When teams start having their private workouts, he will be one to win them over in a hurry.
NFL Draft Projection
While Wilkins is easily a top 15 talent, I think he gets lost in the shuffle and slides a bit. I think there could be a legit shot that he is on the board when the Vikings pick at No. 18.
Projection: Picks 15-20
(For more NFL Draft-related content from Matt Falk, head on over to SkolHole.com and check out his work.)