Christian Wilkins   DL   Clemson

TALENT
ROUND
2

STRENGTHS
Christian has solid potential to be a good defensive lineman for the team that selects him. He has played inside and outside in multiple style of defensive line fronts and schemes. Christian is a high effort player on the field and is the type of defensive lineman who makes his impact knocking passes down and disrupting the rhythm of an opponentís passing game. He does a solid job shedding blocks and making tackles and in a 1 gap scheme using a good burst off the line to get through quickly and disrupt plays and making tackles for losses.

CONCERNS
Christianís athletic talent makes him more of a tweener type of defensive lineman. He struggles changing direction and keeping his balance when playing in a 1 gap system. In a 2 gap system he struggles once engaged to make secondary moves quickly and settles for just knocking down passes rather than getting pressure on the quarterback. The reason for not making secondary moves once engaged is because of a lack of balance and quick feet. His hand usage is good but once again he stops using his hands once engaged and this keeps him from getting to the quarterback and disrupting plays unless he shoots the gap. Once he shoots a gap he struggles to keep his balance and lunges to make tackles.

BOTTOM LINE
Christian is being considered as a top defensive lineman in this draft. What I see on film is a young kid who is not in top football shape and who struggles in all aspects of his game but because of his effort at the college level he makes plays. In his defense there is not a game that I see him in where he doesnít knock a ball down and this alone is a positive in evaluating him. Knocking a pass down along with limited balance and poor feet make him a good look as an interior lineman for the team that selects him. That being said, if he wants to be a DT he has to gain bulk and more strength and better techniques to be able to play consistently. As a possible DE in a 4/3, Christen with a lot of work and losing weight and gaining more muscle could become a power rusher along the same lines as former Giants DE Michael Strahan. Iím not saying that Christian will be as good as Strahan, Iím just saying with a lot of hard work he could be a sold pass rusher from the edge because he can learn to play the angles and that will minimize his lack of balance and change of direction skills. Truthfully for me thatís his impact position as a Defensive End in a 4/3 or 3/4 but he would have to work real hard to reach it and that will take time. His lack of good feet and balance can be minimized by getting into better football shape, learning better techniques and experience. Christian on the field looks to be a good kid who works well with his teammates and gives effort on every play so investing time and money into a player with these qualities seems very smart to me.

Drew Boylhart   DEC.2017