5 players the Vikings will watch closely at the 2019 NFL Combine

(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) Mike Hughes
(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) Mike Hughes /
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(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Christian Wilkins
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Christian Wilkins /

Christian Wilkins – DT (Clemson)

The Vikings must do thorough scouts of all positions of need at the Combine this week and make sure they other have prospects in mind just in case they don’t find an offensive lineman worth taking at pick No. 18 this year. Defensive tackle has to be considered need No. 2 for Minnesota in 2019 and Christian Wilkins is a real possibility.

The major thing that sticks out on film of Wilkins is this guy’s athletic ability. A man who is 6-foot-4 and 300 pounds should not move the way he does.

He isn’t just quick and fast, Wilkins is almost graceful with the way he moves. It’s crazy to watch.  This dude is so athletic that Clemson put him at safety during a spring game and he didn’t miss a beat.

Wilkins also is exactly what the Vikings need at defensive tackle. With Sheldon Richardson most likely on his way out, Minnesota will need a new penetrating three-technique defensive tackle for 2019. That is exactly what Wilkins is and his 16 sacks as a Clemson Tiger backs this up.

The Vikings will want to see his athletic ability up close this week though. Minnesota will watch Wilkins closely in the lineman positional drills, his three cone drill, and the 10-yard split portion of his 40-yard dash.

More importantly than the drills, the Vikings will want to meet this kid face to face and pick his brain. They’ll want to see if he’s got the type of mindset that meshes with Mike Zimmer and see if he is the type of guy who fits in with the other players on their defensive line in particular.

If Minnesota doesn’t like the options on the offensive line when they are on the clock in the first round this April, Wilkins could be the choice and how he performs at the NFL Combine this week will go a long way in making that a reality.