Sunday, January 24, 2021

Christian Wilkins: Building From Rookie Year

Christian Wilkins, the Miami Dolphins defensive tackle certainly grew into the role in his 2019 rookie season.

The interior lineman did not have the best of starts to life in the NFL after being ejected in week 7 against the Buffalo Bills for throwing a punch.

However, he has since gone on to become a real prospect for the Miami Dolphins.

The thirteenth pick in the 2019 NFL Draft out of Clemson has gone on to record some good stats and will hope to build on this in his sophomore year.

Christian Wilkins during his time in Clemson.
Christian Wilkins during his time in Clemson.

Wilkins will have dreams of reaching the Super Bowl some day but will also want to reach the Pro Bowl.

Christian Wilkins definitely has room for improvement but will take alot of positives in the stats he put out on the field in comparison to the defensive tackles taken in the AFC Pro Bowl Roster.

Whilst Christian Wilkins has a long way to come if we wants to compete with the NFC Pro Bowl defensive tackles, his statistics in 2019 were close to the ones set by the AFC Pro Bowl defensive tackles.

Christian Wilkins scored a touchdown in week 16 against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Wilkins recorded 56 tackles, 2 sacks and four quarterback hits in 2019.

Aaron Donald’s 12.5 sacks and 24 quarterback hits in 2019 and Fletcher Cox’s 10 quarterback hits outweigh the stats set by Wilkins but Fletcher Cox’s 3.5 sacks are not a million miles away from Wilkins’ 2 sacks in 2019.

Whilst Christian Wilkins may never reach the heights of the NFL’s best defensive player in Aaron Donald, Wilkins’s stats are promising and close to the stats recorded by the AFC Pro Bowl defensive tackle representatives.

Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald is a six time Pro Bowler and a two time Defensive Player Of The Year.

Cincinnati Bengals’ Geno Atkins recorded 47 tackles, 4.5 sacks and 10 Quarterback hits. Pittsburgh Steelers’ Cam Heyward recorded 83 tackles, 9 sacks and 23 Quarterback hits. Kansas City Chiefs’ Chris Jones recorded 36 tackles, 20 Quarterback hits and 9 sacks.

All three players made the Pro Bowl squad despite the latter not playing in the game due to Super Bowl commitments.

As a Miami Dolphins fan, the statistics for Christian Wilkins excite me.

Out of Christian Wilkins’ 56 tackles in 2019, 35 of those were solo tackles and 21 of those were assists. That put Wilkins tied 14th for solo tackles and fourth for assists amongst all other interior defensive lineman.

When you also consider that Christian Wilkins had more tackles in 2019 then the league’s two best interior defensive lineman in Donald and Cox in just his rookie year gives myself alot of confidence that he can kick on and look to become one of the best interior defensive lineman in the NFL.

Christian Wilkins also appears to be a great character for the dressing room and his larger than life character can help team morale.

However, the aforementioned ejection in week 7 will be something Wilkins will not want to happen again. He also needs to improve in getting to the quarterback, as we saw with the low amount of sacks and quarterback hits.

In conclusion, Christian Wilkins is allowed to have areas for improvement after just one rookie year and he will hope he can add to the numbers in 2020. In a defensive line that has added Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson in the off season, Wilkins will have more support in his attempt to improve as a NFL player.

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