The Miami Dolphins were the fourth-best rushing defense in 2022 and Christian Wilkins was a major part of the equation. The Dolphins allowed an average of 103 rushing yards per game, only the Tennessee Titans (76.9), San Francisco 49ers (92.1), and Baltimore Ravens (92.1) were better at stopping the ground game.
Wilkins led all defensive tackles with 98 total tackles and ranked first in PFF’s “Stop” metric with 45 defensive stops, or tackles that resulted in a “failure” by the offense. That said, one ESPN statistic makes it clear that the former first-round pick has derailed opposing rushing attacks since entering the league.
Highest pressure % last season, via ESPN:— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) August 9, 2023
1) #Cowboys Micah Parsons 17.4%
2) #Bills Von Miller 14.5%
3) #Bengals Trey Hendrickson 13.8%
4) #49ers Nick Bosa 12.7%
5) #Ravens Justin Houston 12.5% (now with #Panthers)
Highest run stop win rate since 2019:
1) #Dolphins Christian… pic.twitter.com/rOj5plh1lo
Quinnen Williams (New York Jets) and Jeffrey Simmons (Titans) each have a run-stop win rate of 40.3 percent since 2019 but Wilkins leads the way with a win rate percentage of 40.8 percent.
Williams and Simmons each received new contracts this offseason while it looks like Wilkins will play under the fifth-year option of his rookie contract. Drafting Wilkins was the first step of Miami’s rebuild following the 2018 season and he’s surpassed the expectations of a mid-first-round pick.
Extending Wilkins won’t be cheap and the price ballooned this offseason with others earning new contracts. That said, the Dolphins should do whatever is necessary to keep Wilkins in Miami for the foreseeable future.