Vikings Named Best Fit For Star Defensive Lineman In Free Agency

Christian Wilkins
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings logged a respectable 43 sacks this past season, but with top edge rusher Danielle Hunter potentially departing via free agency, the Vikings may need to address their pass rush.

That’s why Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus has Minnesota pegged as the top free-agent destination for Miami Dolphins defensive lineman Christian Wilkins.

Wilkins is coming off of a breakout 2023 campaign in which he racked up 65 tackles, nine sacks, a forced fumble and a couple of fumble recoveries while playing all 17 games.

The 28-year-old, who played his collegiate football at Clemson, was selected by the Dolphins with the 13th overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft.

He played in every contest during his rookie year, finishing with 56 tackles and a couple of sacks. After posting similar numbers in 2020, Wilkins showed some progression in his third season, registering 89 tackles, 4.5 sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

From that point on, Wilkins has been one of the best run-stuffing defensive tackles in football, as he then rattled off 98 tackles, 3.5 sacks, a couple of forced fumbles, a pair of fumble recoveries and six passes defended in 2022.

But on top of his uncanny ability to stop the run, Wilkins has also developed into a fine pass rusher, which is exactly what the Vikings need.

Minnesota will also have plenty of cap room heading into free agency, so it should be able to afford to sign Wilkins while also filling other holes on the roster.

Of course, the Vikings will have lots of competition for Wilkins’ services, as he will represent one of the top defensive players on the market next month.

Minnesota went 7-10 and missed the playoff this past year, largely due to injuries up and down the roster.

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