News & Analysis

2019 NFL Draft Profile: DI Christian Wilkins, Clemson

Rated as the fifth defensive interior and 25th prospect on PFF's draft board, Clemson’s Christian Wilkins is a stout run defender whose versatility allows him to be successful wherever he is placed on the line. Wilkins was one of two players to rank in the top-five in both total pressures and defensive stops in 2018, showing he’s capable of being dominant regardless of the play call.

[Editor’s Note: To view all of Pro Football Focus’ advanced stats and grades for draft-eligible players, check out our 2019 NFL Draft Guide. All EDGE and ELITE subscribers already have access to the guide, and for those who don’t, you can get your copy for as low as $9.99!]

Wilkins was a premier pass-rusher in 2018, ranking third in pass-rush win rate and second in pressure rate in the class. Although his pass-rush grade may have been inflated with the poor level of competition, he is still undeniably one of the top interior defensive linemen in this draft.

Wilkins was a brick wall against the run, recording a 93.6 run-defense grade. Among the top interior defensive linemen in the class, no one recorded a lower average depth of tackle against the run than Wilkins at 0.1 yards.

Wilkins wasn’t always the dominant, all-around player we saw in 2018. He progressed throughout his four-year career at Clemson, especially as a pass-rusher. He has always been a better run defender than pass-rusher, but his jump in pass-rush grade from 67.8 in 2017 to 91.0 in 2018 makes him a 1st round talent in this draft.

All of PFF’s 2019 NFL Draft Profiles can be viewed here or on PFF’s YouTube Channel. Follow along as we go through all the top prospects in the draft.

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