Wilkins was the first draft pick of the Brian Flores era. Wilkins-the 13th overall selection of the 2019 NFL draft-has been solid in his first two seasons in the NFL. His PFF grade has steadily risen since joining the NFL (2019-64.4, 2020-68.9), his run defense has improved greatly over the last two seasons, and he is already an above average player against the run.
Where Wilkins has come up short his first two seasons in the NFL is as a pass rusher. If he never develops into an elite interior rusher, that isn’t the end of the world. But taking a step forward as a rusher would be huge for Wilkins’ development and could vault him into the top 10 or 15 players at his position.
In a very promising development, Wilkins has been very disruptive as a pass rusher thus far in camp. Again, there are no pads on, but that creates a disadvantage for both offensive and defensive linemen.
Wilkins also is one of the hardest workers on the team and has the right attitude to succeed this season. There’s no ego there because he was a first round pick or because the Dolphins won ten games last year. Its a new season and they are taking it one day at a time-a message that comes down from the top in Miami.
"“We’re not given anything and just because we had a good season last year, it’s a whole new year so we’ve got to start over… Guys have got to put the work in, just because we were a borderline playoff team last year and we had ten wins, that doesn’t mean anything.” –Christian Wilkins"
In retrospect, some people view Wilkins as a poor draft selection. They’re getting similar production from Zach Sieler and didn’t use a first round draft choice on him. Wilkins has the potential to turn that narrative around and so far he looks determined to do that in 2021.