NFL draft: Former Clemson DT selected in first round by Dolphins
|Thursday, April 25, 2019, 9:51 PM-|
Former Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins was selected by the Miami Dolphins with the 13th pick in the first round.
"Man I'm just so excited," Wilkins said on the NFL Network telecast. "This is so awesome. I can't wait to become a part of the fraternity and brotherhood of players who make the NFL. This is just really special to be a trend-setter and an ambassador for this league."
Wilkins was rated as the No. 5 prospect overall and the No.2 DT by ESPN with draft projections in the mid-teens. He is projected a $15.4 million contract with a $9.2 million signing bonus per Spotrac.
The Springfield, Massachusetts product was a three-time All-American and was the fifth unanimous All-American in school history last season. He was also honored with the Campbell Trophy, which is also known as the academic Heisman.
Wilkins posted 250 tackles, 41 for loss, with 16 sacks over 59 games (45 starts) as a Clemson Tiger.
Wilkins joins Tigers defensive line teammates Clelin Ferrell, who tied the school-high of No. 4 to the Oakland Raiders, and Dexter Lawrence (No. 17 to New York) to set a school record for first round selections.
"You run such a risk coming back and you see the reward," Wilkins said on an ABC broadcast. "We got everything we wanted. We won (another) national championship. We had a great college experience. We got closer with our brothers, our teammates. We were all top-20 draft picks - Clelin going fourth. When his name got called, I was jumping around like I got drafted. That's awesome and the same for Dex. I'm excited for the rest guys in this process and where they get drafted."
Wilkins also joins former Clemson defensive line coach Marion Hobby with the Dolphins.
"He's dominant on the backside as a run defender and reminds me a lot of Gerald McCoy," NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah said. "Ultra-athletic. The range for him as a defensive lineman to play inside-out. He slips blocks. He's not going to be a real overpowering player. He's going to beat you with his quickness, puts the head down, stays on his feet as a pass rusher. He's got a quick first step and my favorite scout term - he's got tremendous wiggle."
Dolphins 1st round pick Christian Wilkins on the type of player Miami is getting. pic.twitter.com/vPmDbZQDCp— Will Manso (@WillMansoWPLG) April 26, 2019
Love, love, love Christian Wilkins.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) April 26, 2019