Eagles NFL Draft Options at No. 25: DT Christian Wilkins - NBC 10 Philadelphia
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Eagles NFL Draft Options at No. 25: DT Christian Wilkins

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    Eagles NFL draft options at No. 25: DT Christian Wilkins

    One of three Clemson defensive linemen who might go in the first round, Wilkins is probably the most likely candidate to end up in Philly. He's been a favorite of mine throughout this pre-draft process. 

    He played 3-technique in college (but he can play 1-tech too) and is exactly the kind of get-up-the-field type of defensive tackle the Eagles seem to like in their 4-3 scheme. 

    His sack numbers won't blow you away, but he had very solid production as an interior rusher. He had 5 1/2 sacks in his senior season and 16 in his four-year college career. He had 14 TFLs in 2018. 

    Aside from his athletic prowess is his ability as a leader. Even at the combine, he spoke to reporters at length about his personality and leadership traits. He said he wanted prospective teams to know they're not just getting a good football player, but are getting a high-character leader as well. 

    Wilkins had a solid combine performance, but simply isn't the athletic freak some others in this class are. Because of that, maybe there's a chance he's still on the board when the Eagles pick at 25. He ran the 40 in 5.04 and put up 28 reps on the bench. If he's not there at 25, he's a clear trade-up candidate. 

    The one negative about Wilkins is he's already 23 years old. The Eagles' first-round pick from 2017, Derek Barnett, won't turn 23 until June and he has already played two NFL seasons. 

    Current roster at DT: The Eagles have Fletcher Cox and Malik Jackson as starters. Their top backups are Treyvon Hester and Bruce Hector. 

    How he would fit:Wilkins would come in as a rotational player. Cox and Jackson would start, but he'd be the first guy off the bench in a pretty important role. Eventually, he would likely take over as a starter. 

    Eagles history at DT in draft: The last time the Eagles used a first-round pick on a defensive tackle was in 2012, when they took Cox at No. 12. That has worked out. The Eagles have drafted six DTs in the first round: Cox, Brodrick Bunkley, Mike Patterson, Corey Simon, Leonard Renfro, Jerome Brown. 

    Since the 2012 draft, the Eagles have taken three interior defensive linemen: Bennie Logan in the third round back in 2013, Beau Allen in the seventh round in 2014 and Elijah Qualls in the sixth round in 2017. 

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