Jacksonville Jaguars: 5 Dolphins to keep an eye on in Week 6

Miami Dolphins Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores. (Imagn Images photo pool)
Miami Dolphins Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores. (Imagn Images photo pool) /
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Jacksonville Jaguars
Miami Dolphins DE Christian Wilkins #94. (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports) /

These two Dolphins could give the Jacksonville Jaguars’ offense fits.

1. Christian Wilkins, defensive end.

The Dolphins’ defense has logged nine sacks in 2021 and defensive tackle Christian Wilkins has registered two of them. The 2019 first-round pick had a relatively slow start in his rookie campaign, he’s developed into a key cog on the defensive front.

This season, Wilkins has appeared in all five games and logged 25 total tackles, five tackles for a loss, and two sacks. Also, he’s earned a Pro Football Focus grade of 79.4, second among Dolphins defenders. Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence says he’s excited about playing with Wilkins, whom he described as “annoying” on the field but a great teammate.

Wilkins and Lawrence were part of the Clemson Tigers team that won the 2019 CFP National Championship. The two will probably greet at some point Sunday but the Jaguars’ offensive line can’t allow Wilkins to get close to the rookie quarterback while the game is on.

2. Xavien Howard, cornerback.

Howard is without doubt the Dolphins’ best defensive player. In fact, he’s one of the best cornerbacks in the whole NFL. The 2016 second-round pick is coming off a game in which he allowed six receptions for 123 yards on nine targets. Then again, it’s hard to find a cornerback that has had a great performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense in 2021. Also, he’s been dealing with shoulder and groin injuries and has played hurt the past two weeks.

The Jaguars must monitor Howard’s health ahead of Sunday. The cornerback missed the Dolphins’ last two practices. He will likely suit up but might not be at full strength, which would bode well for Jacksonville’s wide receiver corps.