Bowling Ball of Energy: Scouting Clemson’s Christian Wilkins
Defensive Lineman – Clemson Tigers
Ht: 6’4”, Wt: 310lbs DOB: 12/20/95 Class: SR.
- Explosiveness & Burst
- Low-Centre of Gravity
- Motor & Effort
- Pass-Rushing Ability
- Flashes of Dominance
- Violent Hands
- Ability to Adjust Mid-Play
- 3-Down Player?
- Streaky Tendencies
One of the bigger defensive names in College Football, Christian Wilkins is a flashy and versatile lineman that plays a pivotal role in Clemson’s historically dominant Front 4. Playing all across the line, Wilkins mainly plays from the interior, given his 310-pound frame. However, due to his freaky athleticism, Wilkins can also make a presence off the edge and even drops into coverage from time to time, which is something almost unheard in a man of his stature. A productive prospect, Wilkins has simply changed games for the Tigers during his career, and his flashes of pure dominance are what have earned him such a big spot in the limelight.
Thicky built, Wilkins is a compact prospect that uses his natural leverage to his advantage. Explosive as heck off the line of scrimmage, Christian’s burst can make opposing lineman look foolish, as in a blink he’s already in the backfield wreaking havoc. Known for splitting through gaps, this is certainly Christian’s strength but it’s also not all he does. A high motor and high-character kid, he never gives up on a play and has a relentless work ethic. Possessing violent hands, Wilkins also plays with solid technique that will only look to improve. Combine that with a nice spin move and Wilkins has more than just leverage and burst in his back pocket.
Unfortunately, where Wilkins struggles is in the consistency aspect of his game, which is why he made the decision to return to college this past Winter, despite a high grade from the Advisory Council. One game he’ll look like a Top 5 pick, and then the next he’ll completely disappear. A lot of this has to do with his inability to adjust to lineman when they get their hands on him. This causes him to get mauled pretty badly at times, especially in the run game. With a small-ish frame to begin with, this poses a question towards Wilkins ability as a 3-Down Player at the next level.
Ultimately, Wilkins is a high-upside, high character player who made the right decision to return to school. With some added refinement and much more consistency, Wilkins could potentially work his way into the Top 10 conversation. However, he’s a risky proposition and making his game more well-rounded is a must. To find a lineman at his size with that combination of traits is rare though, and Wilkins could easily entice some franchise to pull the plug and take him very early come draft day.
Player Comparison: Grady Jarrett DL Atlanta Falcons
Initial Big Board Ranking: 42nd Overall (2nd Round Grade)