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DT Christian Wilkins: How Would Drafting this Player Make the Browns Better?

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Round One potential draftee would add to already gifted group

NCAA Football: College Football Playoff National Championship-Clemson vs Alabama Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
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The Browns currently have Trevon Coley and Larry Ogunjobi at the starting DT positions with Carl Davis and Brian Price as available backups. Coley has been somewhat productive with 80 tackles the past two seasons and at times spectacular while other times invisible. Ogunjobi became the starter last year and netted 52 tackles including 10 tackles for loss and at times a beast. Davis is a former third-round pick of the Ravens but was cut and barely played with the Browns. Price was mainly a practice squad addition.

That leaves room for another beast in the middle of the line to basically pair with Ogunjobi. Make no question about it - the Browns need more of a pass rush up the middle and want to solidify against the run in the center gaps better. Good news for Browns’ fans is that Christian Wilkins of the national champions Clemson Tigers should be available with the 17th pick in the first-round.

What the Browns would receive is an excellent run stuffer who has a great motor and seems to be always on the go from minute one. Wilkins is also a very persistent pass rusher. He is strong with a large frame, long arms and is taller than most DTs which gives him an advantage for sight around larger guards and also for batting down attempted passes. He played quite a bit in his freshman year, and then was a mainstay on the defensive front. It was speculated that Wilkins would come out as a junior last year, but stayed another season at Clemson in order to achieve another national title. He is also athletic enough to play DE in certain packages.

Specifics:

College: Clemson
Height: 6’-4”
Weight: 315 pounds
40-time: 5.05
Career Tackles: 192
Forced Fumbles: 2
Career Sacks: 16

Positives:

  • High-character player
  • Tireless worker
  • Positive building block
  • Great strength and leverage
  • Able to collapse pocket
  • Very productive college player
  • Two-time First Team All-American
  • Three-time First Team All-ACC
  • Played in three National Championship Games
  • Three-year starter
  • Taller than most DTs with long arms

Negatives:

  • Struggles against double-teams
  • Will not chase downfield at times
  • Two-down player

Expert Draft Site Analysis

Mockout.com

D-line are the main areas to focus on, but it also seems they like to go BPA and draft high-character players more often than not, and Wilkins fits every bill I just threw out there. Wilkins could definitely go higher than this as an ideal 3-tech and would be a great pick for them as well.

Would you draft Christian Wilkins in the first-round if you were the Browns’ GM?