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  • IDP Must Have: Christian Wilkins, Defensive End

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    The Miami Dolphins were a middle-of-the-road defense in 2021. Adding two rookie linebackers will help Christian Wilkins in his quest to be the top-scoring defensive lineman in fantasy football and return the Dolphins to the NFL playoffs.

    Christian Wilkins, Defensive End, Miami Dolphins

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    Christian Wilkins is a 6' 3" and 315 lb best of a man who wreaks havoc on anybody that gets in his way. He was drafted with the 13th overall pick of the 2019 NFL draft out of Clemson. Wilkins has delivered on his high expectations of that pick — he was dominant from the start of his freshman year at Clemson.

    Wilkins played 11 games as a freshman and produced 33 tackles (18 solos), 4.5 tackles for a loss, 2 sacks, and a forced fumble. As a sophomore, he delivered 48 tackles (24 solos), 13 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks, 9 passes defended, and 2 fumble recoveries in 15 games.

    Wilkins learned the art of batting the ball in his sophomore year. His best tackle year was as a junior when he obtained 60 tackles (27 solos), 9 tackles for a loss, 5 sacks, and 4 passes defended in 14 games.

    Senior Year and National Championship Title

    As a senior, Wilkins dominated again with 51 tackles (25 solos), 14 tackles for a loss, 5.5 sacks, 2 passes defended, 1 forced fumble, and 2 fumble recoveries in his 15 games. He was so consistent in every year of college, dominating from the first snap to his final snap. The Miami Dolphins could not get to their pick fast enough and turn in that card.

    The gold standard in interior defensive linemen is Aaron Donald. He also was a monster in his college career with the Pittsburgh Panthers. Did you know that Wilkins had more total tackles and more passes defended than Donald in his college career? Donald has set the bar very high, and Wilkins wants to reach it.

    Started from the bottom, now we're here

    Wilkins started 14 of the 16 games in his rookie season. With those starts, he delivered 56 tackles (30 solos), 3 tackles for a loss, 2 sacks, 2 passes defended, and a fumble recovery. His second year in the league brought a little disappointment because he missed the first games of his career.

    Covid-19 struck the Dolphins. Wilkins started 12 of the 14 games he played and produced 47 tackles (28 solos), 4 tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks, 5 passes defended, 1 interception, and another fumble recovery.

    Wilkins' third year in the league — 2021— was his charm. He started all 17 games and had 89 tackles (49 solos), 10 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, 4 passes defended, 1 forced fumble, and a fumble recovery.

    Ain't no party like a breakout party (cuz a Scranton party don't stop)

    Both players were in the top nine of scoring in my leagues. Donald was the top scoring defensive lineman and Wilkins was just 14 points behind him. Some would say that Donald was much better in his younger years, but I would disagree. Donald has had much better stats over his last four years than his first four years in the league.

    Let's compare their third year in the league. Wilkins had more total tackles and more solo tackles than Donald in his third year. Donald was definitely more disruptive in the backfield as he gets more tackles for a loss and more sacks.

    Wilkins is just 26 years old and going into his fourth year in the league. He will play both inside and defensive end. The edge will be manned by Jaelen Phillips, and the Dolphins added Channing Tindall to the linebacker room. The opposing offensive line will not be able to focus on Wilkins, leaving him to continue to wreak havoc.

    We need defensive ends. If or when they move him back to defensive tackle, you have the ultimate cheat code. Buy him all day long, and tomorrow also. He will be the anchor of your IDP defensive line for years.

    Thank you for checking out the latest article in the Buy/Sell/Keep series! You can read all of my articles on my IDP Guys author page. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @OldMan_FF and @IDPGuys (we have offense, too), and please check out our website at idpguys.org.

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