Atlanta Falcons Potential First Round Pick: Christian Wilkins

Atlanta Falcons, Christian Wilkins (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Atlanta Falcons, Christian Wilkins (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons, Christian Wilkins (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

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Christian Wilkins decided to continue his football career at Clemson University. He only started one game for the Tigers as a freshman, but saw action in 11 of the team’s games. Wilkens had decent showing, making 33 tackles. He also had 4.5 tackles for a loss and two sacks. He also forced a fumble.

As a sophomore Christian Wilkins became a permanent starter, starting all 15 of the teams games. He broke out in a major way, increasing his tackles to 48 and his tackles for a loss to a whopping 13. He also increased his sack total to 3.5 and and recovered two fumbles for his team. Amazingly the defensive lineman batted down an unheard of nine passes on the season!

With his breakout sophomore campaign, Christian Wilkins earned a spot as a Second Team All ACC member. He was also voted as a Third Team All American. He was a key cog that helped the Clemson Tigers to a national championship for the 2016-17 season. It should also be noted that Wilkins breakout season took place as behemoth nose tackle Dexter Lawrence joined the team.

Christian Wilkins continued his stellar play as a junior, making a Carter high 60 tackles. He also increased his sack total to five. Wilkins batted down another four passes on the season giving him an incredible 13 passes defended in two seasons. He also had nine tackles for loss on the 2017-18 campaign.

Christian Wilkins was named as a captain for the Clemson Tigers in 2017. He become a full-time defensive tackle, after also playing defensive end his first two seasons. He was named as a First Team All ACC selection for his terrific junior year. Additionally Christian earned honors as an AP Second Team All American. He also won the Bill Willis Trophy, which is awarded to the nation’s top defensive lineman. He surprised many when he decided to return to Clemson for his senior season.

As a senior, Christian Wilkins was once again a key part of a dominant Clemson defensive line. Wilkins racked up 51 tackles this past season and set a new career high with 14 tackles for a loss. He also set a new career high in sacks with 5.5. Christian batted down two more passes, giving him a career total of 15. Many defensive backs don’t break up that many passes in their college career. He he also wrecked havoc in the turnover department, recovering two fumbles and forcing one. Wilkins also added two defensive touchdowns on the campaign.

Christian Wilkins once again received many post season accolades. He was named as a First Team All American for the first time in his career. The vote was unanimous. He was also First Team All ACC for the second consecutive season. Christian was also voted as the Jim Tatum award winner. The award recognized him as the top senior student athlete in the ACC, for his work on the field and in the classroom. Wilkins also received the prestigious William V. Campbell Trophy, an award given to the NCAA football player that had the best balance of on-field play, community service and academic achievement. Wilkins achieved all of this, while being a prominent part of the Clemson Tigers winning their second NCAA National Championship in the last three seasons.

Take a look at the Top 10 plays made by Christian Wilkins in 2018, courtesy of the ACC Digital Network YouTube channel: