Dolphins draft: 5 defensive tackles that could replace Christian Wilkins

The Dolphins defense was dealt a blow when Christian Wilkins departed in free agency. These are 5 players they could target to help replace him. There are early-round picks and some late-round sleeper honorable mentions at the end
Texas v Houston
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1. Byron Murphy II

Murphy is a very quick player who is undersized, but his strength even at his size makes him arguably the best defensive tackle in the class. He has elite quickness off the ball and great hands. He does give off Aaron Donald vibes when watching him, even if that comparison is seen as blasphemous. In his best games, he is disruptive in the run-and-pass game. He gets off blocks well and has good awareness to find and wrap up the ball carrier. Whether he uses his great hands or leverage on a bull rush, he practically lived in the backfield this season, and it was rare to see him cede any ground.

His toughest opponent up front was probably Alabama. He was consistently doubled, but when he wasn't on passing downs, he was able to create some penetration against a stout offensive line. He wasn't a major game-changer, but he took up blocks without giving up too much ground and was able to move their QB off of his platform a few times. He probably will not last until 21, but if he does, he would be a great selection if Miami wants a first-round defensive tackle.

2. Johnny (Jer'Zahn) Newton

Jer'Zhan Newton
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Newton is a strong, powerful tackle with great hands that help him get off of blocks. He is a bit undersized for the position, but his quick hands and first step help negate that. His swim move is easily the best move in his tool bag and he uses it effectively. He is coming off of a great senior season where he tallied 8 sacks and 28 hurries. He is more of a pass rusher than Wilkins usually is, but is not quite as stout in the run game.

Some deficiencies I noticed on tape were in the Maryland game, his lowest PFF-graded game of the season. He seemed sluggish at times and the effort that was present in most games felt a bit lacking. He was doubled or tripled most of the game and had a difficult time making an impact. He also struggled when he lined up in wider techniques and had to rush against tackles; he is obviously much better at rushing against guards. All in all, Johnny Newton is a talented player who may not be available at 21, but if he is, he should be in consideration due to his great hands and good production.

Next: Round 2 Players