4. Christian Wilkins, Clemson 6-3, 312 (1)
Career Statistics: 192 tackles, 16 sacks, 40.5 tackles for loss, 15 broken up passes
Why Christian Wilkins Is Here On The List: He’s everything you want in a starting defensive tackle. He’s got the size, the quickness to get behind the line, and the toughness to serve as an anchor who can handle the double-team. Throw in that an emotional tone-setter who’ll be the instant leader on any defense, and he’s the total package.
So what’s wrong with him? How come he’s not in the top three, if not No. 1 overall among the defensive tackles? Two of the three guys ahead of him have ungodly crazy traits.
Wilkins has no downside, he’s as safe as they come, and he’s as bust-proof as they get. He’s just not the shot-for-the-all-timer-stars type some of the guys ahead of him here are. And that’s why …
What The NFL Types Want To See: How does he look compared to the freaks of nature? Most scouts will get past the raw tools of some of the other tackles and just like the steadiness and sureness of Wilkins, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. But if he holds his own in the workouts and looks every bit as quick and athletic, that moves him up from top 15 to top ten overall.
Bottom Line: Just take him. He’s not the perfect prospect, and he’s not quite as bulky as some teams might like, but whatever. He’s a ten-year, no-worry pro who’ll start from Day One and be a regular on the Pro Bowl circuit.