Christian Wilkins wants to fill Wade's shoes in Miami

The Miami Dolphins eschewed a quarterback with the No. 13 overall pick Thursday night in favor of a vivacious defensive tackle, Christian Wilkins.

It's not a sexy pick, but one that fills a massive hole in new coach Brian Flores' defense.

Wilkins, a Clemson product, hopes he can one day prove his worth to Miami, going so far as to suggest he could eventually replace newly retired Dwyane Wade as the city's icon.

"You all just lost D-Wade, too, so Miami is going to need somebody to kind of help fill that void," Wilkins said, via the Palm Beach Post. "So hopefully I can work into that role and Miami will love me like they love D-Wade."

Wilkins, who also mentioned no state income tax as a reason he's thrilled to play in Miami, has two degrees from Clemson and is a highly intelligent player with a burgeoning skillset to become a difference maker in the Dolphins D.

NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah noted that it was a surprise that Wilkins fell to the Dolphins at No. 13. General manager Chris Grier said the DT was the highest-graded player available on Miami's board when they were on the clock.

The 315-pound Wilkins is a vibrant personality, exemplified by his flying chest-bump attempt with commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected, and owns size, athleticism and a quick first step to become a difference maker on Flores' defense. Wilkins owns the quickness to slide past blockers and should be consistently in the face of QBs as an interior penetrator.

After taking swipes at high-priced DTs like Ndamukong Suh, which ultimately didn't work out, perhaps Wilkins can make a star-turn in Miami. Reaching D-Wade heights means the first-round pick must lead the Dolphins to multiple championships. It's a lofty goal for a franchise that hasn't been out of the Wild Card round since 2000.

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