By: Ron Hiatt
Christian Wilkins has a tremendous story with an interesting and inspiring path to the Miami Dolphins. At age 15 his grandfather, and most influential figure in his life, died in a tragic incident with law enforcement. Much like his grandfather, Christian has a big personality, is a large presence in his community, and has a compassionate personality. At Clemson Christian became an instant leader off the field as well as on the field. Along with his academic and athletic prowess, Christian has as big or bigger impact in his community. Christian volunteers as a substitute teacher and in his community.
Christian and his teammates on the defense for Clemson deciding against entering the draft early, and decided together to return to school to achieve a team goal sacrificing personal gain as most assuredly a 1st round pick in the 2018 draft. Wilkins played all over the defense allowing for his teammates to have success. He played NT, 3-tech (4-3 DT), 4-tech, 5-tech (3-4 DE), FB on offense, played on special teams, so it is clear that whatever the coaches needed for the team to succeed, Christian did it without question.
During the pre-draft process for 2018 I had Christian as a 1st round pick and during the 2019 pre-draft process a potential Top 10 selection as DT2. After the Dolphins made him the 13th pick Christian showed his enthusiasm by almost sacking commissioner Roger Goodell with a leaping chest bump. In his rookie season Christian emerged as a standout player and helped Brian Flores build his team-first culture. He finished his rookie campaign with 56 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 tackles for loss, 2 pd's, 4 QB hits, 1 fumble recovery, and 1 TD reception.
Already through 7 games in 2020, Christian has 25 tackles, 1 sack, 2 tackles for loss, 5 pd;s, 1 int, 1 QB hit and on pace to shatter his rookie season. To show his improvement Christian already has multiple games with 5 tackles and 2 batted passes. With his versatility and selflessness, he allows Flores and defensive coordinator, Josh Boyer, to be creative in the play calls and personnel packages. Christian is already a team leader and makes sure the front is lined up in only his second year.
His enthusiasm is infectious and even leaped over 6'0'' safety, Brandon Jones while being at 300 plus pounds himself. Christian celebrates with a tribute to the Power Rangers after he makes a play, showing his unique personality, and homage to his Clemson teammates. Christian is one of the first to celebrate success of his fellow Dolphins in all phases of the game and it has carried over to rest of the team.
The improvement on this defense is undeniable going from worst, to possibly being the best in successive seasons, will be an NFL record. Wilkins, in my opinion, makes this record a possibility and makes this defense work.
At the time of this articles publishing, Miami is the number 1 scoring defensive unit in the NFL.
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