What They're Saying: National Media Grades Christian Wilkins Selection

Here was some of the analysis on the Dolphins selection of defensive tackle Christian Wilkins with the 13th overall selection in the 2019 NFL draft. Where applicable, grades for the pick are included.

Cameron Wolfe, ESPN

“Wilkins has an amazing personality, and that is no exaggeration. His jovial and positive charisma will make him a great fit as first-year head coach Brian Flores tries to rebuild this team in Miami. General manager Chris Grier said Wilkins was the highest player available on their board and an easy decision to take at No. 13. He's a great fit in Flores' versatile defense, fills one of the Dolphins' biggest needs and has familiarity with Miami defensive line coach Marion Hobby, who coached him at Clemson. It's a very strong pick from Grier.”

Steve Muench, ESPN

“Miami is looking to improve a defense that ranked 31st in rushing yards allowed per game last season. The Dolphins should know how to make the most of Wilkins' skill set, as defensive line coach Marion Hobby worked with Wilkins when he was Clemson's DE coach early in Wilkins' career.”

Chad Reuter, NFL.com

“Wilkins is a quality person and an excellent player with the versatility to play anywhere on the line. The team never really replaced Ndamukong Suh, and Wilkins has the ability to be really disruptive inside.”

Grade: A

Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com

“There's some value for you. I did not think he would fall this far. I thought there would be no way he'd be here for the Dolphins, but he was. He has quick hands, quick feet and can create an inside pass rush. He's best on the backside in the run game. Not a power guy, but has a great first step and slips blockers.”

Yahoo Sports Staff

“Big, big athlete. Wilkins is a high-character guy who will make the Dolphins locker room better Day 1. He’s a versatile guy who will help shore up a bad rushing defense.

Grade: B

Andy Benoit, Sports Illustrated

“This is a fascinating selection: Presumably, new Dolphins head coach Brian Flores will run the Patriots-style scheme that he has spent his entire career teaching. Wilkins has the size that the scheme demands, but stylistically, his game is built more on quickness and movement than raw power. Perhaps Flores envisions Wilkins filling the Trey Flowers role. The two have different body types, but Flowers always thrived on the stunts and twists that Wilkins seems tailor-made to execute.”

Grade: B-

Pete Prisco, CBSSports.com

“This is my favorite pick of the entire draft so far. Love this pick. I think this kid is going to be a star. I was all over Grady Jarrett when he was picked and I think Wilkins could be even better. This is a good building block for Brian Flores and his staff.”

Grade: A+

Mike Tanier, Bleacher Report

“There are usually between two and seven top NFL prospects playing on the Clemson front seven at any given time. That forces opponents to cross their fingers, use lots of misdirection and screens and try to get the ball out of the quarterback's hand in 0.3 nanoseconds. A Clemson defensive lineman might have only three sacks in a season because the quarterback was already pudding by the time he arrived on most plays, or 12.5 just from cleaning up after his teammates. Wilkins, a regular contributor since the Shaq Lawson/Kevin Dodd days, has only 16 career sacks, but he's one of the guys who blew up the middle so Lawson, Dodd, Carlos Watkins, Clelin Farrell, Austin Bryant and others could look like heroes. He's a first-step disruptor who played a lot of nose tackle (despite the presence of the enormous Dexter Lawrence) but fits best as a 3-tech. Wilkins also earned his degree early, is active in community service and gets high marks for locker room leadership. He won't rack up the sacks, so the Dolphins will have to find pass rushers later in this draft (or in the future). But they just picked up an anchor both on and off the field.”

Grade: B+

Christian Wilkins - 16x96

Walterfootball.com

“The Rashan Gary and Christian Wilkins selections are just one spot apart, yet they couldn't be more radically different. The Packers took a guy who was a major slacker in college, whereas the Dolphins just picked a high-character player who was a team captain at his school. Oh, and Wilkins was pretty damn good as well! This is a great pick that must be in the ‘A’ range, as Wilkins will be able to replace Ndamukong Suh's production. The only reason this isn't an A+ or an ‘A’ is because I felt as though the Dolphins had so many needs that they had to trade down. Still, I'm a fan of this move.”

Danny Kelly, The Ringer

“This pick isn’t sexy, but it makes plenty of sense for a Dolphins team that’s in the early stages of a total rebuild. Wilkins is a fiery, passionate, and tone-setting leader who should function as the foundation of that defensive line for years to come. He’s versatile and active, plays with a nonstop motor, and always seems to know where the ball is going. The former Tiger lacks elite pass-rush upside and doesn’t possess rare traits in any particular category, but he’s as solid a three-down interior tackle as they come.”

Grade: B+

Dan Kadar, SB Nation

“The value is there with this pick by the Dolphins. Wilkins was graded by me (and others) as one of the 10 best players in the draft. Wilkins is a tough, athletic player with a magnetic personality. He is quick off the block and plays with a ton of hustle. And don’t forget, Clemson played him a lot at defensive end as a sophomore. But is a defensive tackle the biggest need for Miami?”

Grade: B

The Sporting News

“The Dolphins get a versatile lineman to help Brian Flores rebuild their front. Wilkins (6-3, 315 pounds) can line up everywhere and is equally effective stopping the run outside and getting to the quarterback inside. He is a Patriots-like pick for an AFC East rival.”

Russell Baxter, Fansided.com

“Only the Arizona Cardinals allowed more rushing yards per game than the Dolphins this past season. He figures as an immediate starter for a team now under the guidance of defensive-minded Brian Flores.”

Grade: A-

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