With the 13th pick in the 2019 NFL draft, the Miami Dolphins selected Clemson defensive tackle, Christian Wilkins. Some Dolphins fans were ecstatic when hearing the news, because the Dolphins previously chose to ship out DE Robert Quinn, let star pass rusher Cameron Wake walk, and were still reeling from the release of DT Ndamukong Suh, so help was needed on the defensive line.
But some Dolphins fans were also scratching their heads and trying to figure out why Miami passed on a potential franchise-changing quarterback in Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins or Missouri’s Drew Lock.
Hold your thoughts, however.
Keep in mind that 2018 was a disastrous year for former defensive coordinator Matt Burke’s group. The Dolphins coughed up a whopping 145.3 yards per game, ranking second-to-last, only ahead of Arizona. Wilkins, in his four years at Clemson, produced 40.5 tackles for loss and 16 sacks. Miami Dolphins GM Chris Grier was extremely fond of Wilkins, putting Wilkins the highest graded player on his board.
When asked if the Dolphins were seriously considering either Haskins or Lock, Grier’s response was telling.
"We considered them, but Christian was higher on the board for us in our rankings ... For us, Christian was one of our players we kind of targeted throughout the draft." He said. "We worked with Brian (Flores) and the coaching staff and our scouting department and he was someone we felt very strongly about. He’s got a history of production, leadership, a two-time captain there at Clemson, a very smart and versatile football player. For us, we were very excited and for us, it was an easy decision. We’re very happy to welcome Christian.”
Christian Wilkins feels Grier selecting him over Haskins, Lock or any other first-round talent was the best decision Chris Grier could have made.
“The best decision." He said. "Because just of what I can do for the culture and for the organization. They’re not just getting a guy on the field who is going to do his best as a player and be disruptive and do the things I need to do on the field, but I’m the kind of guy you want in your organization just to make it a better place, to be playing winning football and play at the highest level.”
As the draft prepares to come to a close, Miami is setting things up to be one of the best drafts value-wise they have had in a long time. It will be interesting to see where it all goes from here.
This story was written by Brandon Liguori. Follow him on Twitter: @BrandonRLiguori
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