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Robert Nkemdiche | Defensive End

Team: Mississippi Rebels
Age / DOB:  (22) / 9/19/1994
Ht / Wt:  6'3' / 294

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Cardinals HC Bruce Arians indicated that he has had to ask DL Robert Nkemdiche to drop the intensity a notch in rookie minicamp.
We love it. Nkemdiche is just a week into his career as an NFL player, but he is already impressing with his impeccable athletic ability. Said Arians, "He was killing people in walk-through. I had to slow him down. It’s a walk-through, and he bench-pressed a lineman already." The 6-foot-4, 294-pound Nkemdiche called minicamp "exciting" and noted that attention-to-detail is far more necessary in expanded NFL defensive schemes. When asked what he would first spend his money on now that he is making the big boy bucks, Nkemdiche responded "Charities, maybe. That's about it." Character concerns indeed. May 7 - 6:20 PM

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Pro Football Focus ranked Arizona's class No. 28 in the NFL from a value-per-pick perspective.

"Of Arizona’s six picks, five didn’t even make PFF’s final draft board of the top 250 prospects," Jeff Dooley wrote. "Only [Rd. 1 DL Robert] Nkemdiche did, at No. 44." After shipping their Rd. 2 pick to New England in a deal for OLB Chandler Jones, Arizona didn't pick again until Rd. 3. Their selections from there on out have mostly been panned by the industry. This is what PFF thinks about the explainable pick, Nkemdiche, whom they agree has talent: "Our concerns with him were related to his on-field play rather than his off-field behavior, as he didn’t produce great numbers against the run, often getting swallowed up by double teams or taking himself out of the play by selling out to get after the QB."
May 6 - 6:34 PM

Rotoworld's Evan Silva pegged the Cardinals' draft haul a B- effort.

That haul includes OLB Chandler Jones, acquired from New England for bust OL Jonathan Cooper and the No. 61 pick. "While not a likely starter, [Ole Miss DL Robert] Nkemdiche should be an immediate sub-package contributor, rushing inside on passing downs," Silva wrote. "The [Missouri C Evan] Boehm pick addressed a need and was good value for Keim to land a potential rookie starter in the fourth round." The analyst wasn't so high on using a third-rounder on Texas A&M CB Brandon Williams, who he believes is "likely to max out as a special teamer."
Source: Rotoworld
May 3 - 7:33 PM

Cardinals selected Ole Miss DL Robert Nkemdiche with the No. 29 overall pick in the 2016 draft.

Nkemdiche (6'4/294) went to Ole Miss as the nation's No. 1 overall high school recruit, but managed only 6.5 career sacks in 34 starts. He was arrested for marijuana possession after drunkenly falling out of a hotel window last December. Nkemdiche was also accused of assault by a fellow student in 2014. An explosive athlete with plus arm length (33 7/8") and strength (28 bench-press reps), Nkemdiche looks like a potentially dominant interior pass rusher. His shortage of college production, suspect off-field decision making, and whispers of poor work ethic render him a classic boom-bust prospect.
Apr 28 - 11:37 PM

TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline confirmed reports that the Vikings are not locked onto a WR in Rd. 1 and says they will consider Ole Miss DL Robert Nkemdiche if he's available when they pick.

In recent years, the Vikings have adopted an effective strategy of mostly either taking the best player on their board or trading down -- the Teddy Bridgewater trade-up being one exception) -- so this flexibility is not a surprise. If the Purple find that several attractive options have dropped to them, they'd presumably be happy to trade back to accrue a few extra picks. But keep the mercurial Nkemdiche in mind. He could be special if he finds the right coaching staff, and one fronted by Mike Zimmer sounds like just the ticket.
Apr 27 - 2:06 PM

Ole Miss DL Robert Nkemdiche "is not going to fall too far," according to the Ringer's Kevin Clark.

Clark notes this "despite best efforts of every front office with a late (round one) pick," and that teams prioritize pass rusher too much for Nkemdiche to drop. The Ole Miss product certainly offers outstanding athleticism from the interior pocket and can really penetrate and get upfield. ESPN ran a great story detailing Nkemdiche's life off the field, and it is certainly something worth seeking out.
Source: Kevin
Apr 27 - 11:43 AM

An anonymous NFL scout compared Ole Miss DL Robert Nkemdiche to Chester McGlockton in that he's a "great talent" who "can do anything he wants to do" but "takes time off."

"He’s definitely a top-10 talent," a different scout told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "But he’s got character (issues) so he’ll slide." Nkemdiche, a former No. 1 overall recruit, had the fastest 40, best vertical jump and tied for the largest hands in this year's DL class. "Since his freshman year you’ll see plays where he’ll bull right through the guard," a third scout said. "Biggest issue I have with him is he’s the same guy now. You wonder why he’s not more developed and not more productive." A fourth scout concluded: "He’s a different breed. He marches to his own drummer. When he had the (drunken) fall at the hotel it confirmed a lot of suspicions that people had. Last week, he talked about having a panther as a pet. It’s strictly personality. You wonder, ‘Is he a true football player? Is he dedicated to his craft? Or is he just out in la-la land somewhere?'"
Apr 26 - 6:16 PM

Lions GM Bob Quinn indicated that on their draft board, the team has assigned Ole Miss DL Robert Nkemdiche their equivalent of a red flag.

"If they have a red flag -- and that's not what we use on our draft card, that's just a generic term that we spoke about, I think it was at the combine," Quinn said. He went on to indicate that while Nkemdiche might have earned a demerit from the Lions, that doesn't mean he has been scrubbed off their board completely. As Quinn explained, "You just got to manage the risk and the reward of taking a guy like that." NFL Media's Bucky Brooks (among others) thinks the 6-foot-3, 294-pounder needs to find a draft home with a strong locker room and name-checked the Seahawks as a nice fit on his Move the Sticks podcast with colleague Daniel Jeremiah. The Ravens and Steelers would also likely fit that locker room bill given their veteran casts. Those two teams have hosted Nkemdiche for visits.
Apr 23 - 7:06 PM

NFL Media draft analyst Bucky Brooks said on the Move the Sticks podcast that Ole Miss DL Robert Nkemdiche would be an ideal fit for the Seahawks at No. 26.

We have heard Nkemdiche linked to the Seahawks by analysts at various points during the process, with the belief being that their strong defensive locker room could help to keep Nkemdiche's more window-threatening attributes to a minimum. Said Brooks, "He's athletic, talented and flashes disruptive potential. He hasn't always done it consistently, but I believe Seattle could get him going in the right direction." It is difficult to argue with the logic behind such a projection, but it should be remembered that the Seahawks are not a perfect innocent snowflake of locker room gingerbread. They were unable to put the blocks on the worst aspects of WR Percy Harvin in his abbreviated time with the club and RB Marshawn Lynch had his moments of discontent as well. Nkemdiche has visited with (at minimum) the Raiders, Jaguars, Ravens and Steelers since the calendar flipped over to April.
Apr 17 - 8:01 PM

Ole Miss DL Robert Nkemdiche visited the Steelers on Monday.

Penn Live's Jacob Klinger passed along word of Nkemdiche's visit to the UPMC Rooney Sports Center. The 6-foot-3, 294-pound riddle-wrapped-in-an-enigma has already visited the Raiders, Jaguars and Ravens, plus the Cardinals and Broncos. While Nkemdiche comes with his own unique set of risks (don't we all?), he has a solid chance of being drafted in the latter half of the first round.
Apr 11 - 11:16 PM

NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport reports that Ole Miss DL Robert Nkemdiche will meet with the Raiders, Jaguars and Ravens this week.

Nkemdiche is meeting-and-greeting more than a politician these days. He hooked up with the Cardinals on Monday, met with the Jaguars on Tuesday and will meet with the Ravens on Thursday. Throw in a meeting with the Broncos last week just for good measure. The 6-foot-3, 294-pounder is a likely late Day 1, early Day 2 selection and has been cited by numerous analysts (including Pro Football Focus writer John Breitenbach and NFL Media's Bucky Brooks) as having an incredibly high boom-bust potential for the next level.
Apr 5 - 10:27 PM

NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport reports that Ole Miss DL Robert Nkemdiche is meeting with the Broncos on Thursday.

Rapoport additionally reported that Nkemdiche has a meeting on-deck with the Cardinals. The enigmatic 6-foot-3, 294-pounder had previously indicated that he has at least 14 meetings scheduled before the draft. In addition to the Broncos and Cardinals, he is also set to meet or work out with the 49ers, Chargers, Raiders, Buccaneers, Bears and Giants. Nkemdiche's draft range figures to fall between the middle of the first round and early in the second round.
Mar 31 - 2:57 PM's Mark Eckel spoke with one NFL scout who described Ole Miss DL Robert Nkemdiche as "strange strange... just very strange."

The scout also called Nkemdiche "different" and possessing ""as much ability as anybody." These types of quotes appear each year, calling a prospect "strange" without mentioning specific pieces of his personality that lead to that conclusion. We know Nkemdiche faced some off-field incidents during his time with the Rebels, and teams inquired about his brother, Denzel, moving with him to whatever team drafts the defensive lineman (according to Robert Klemko). Nkemdiche's universal evaluation is a complete unknown, and will likely stay that way.
Mar 30 - 10:09 AM

Pro Football Focus analyst John Breitenbach wrote that "[t]he off-field indiscretions are certainly a factor, but there are on-field reasons, too, why [Ole Miss DL Robert Nkemdiche's] stock fluctuates so wildly."

"[Nkemdiche] lacks the instincts to quickly diagnose, frequently finding himself completely taken out of plays by misdirection. His inability to anchor against double teams is also a major concern," Breitenbach wrote. He included the Ole Miss puzzle on his list of the biggest boom-or-bust prospects in this draft class, an opinion that was similarly voiced by NFL Media's Bucky Brooks during the Ole Miss Pro Day on Monday. Brooks noted, "If you can figure out what he is and what motivates him, you could uncover a star." Breitenbach wouldn't go so far as to declare potential stardom, but did conclude that Nkemdiche "could prove an impact pro." Or, the other side of the equation, he "could be out of the league in three years."
Mar 29 - 2:23 PM

TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline hears that the DL coaches of the Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals ran Ole Miss DL Robert Nkemdiche through his positional drills on Pro Day and "tried to break [him]."

Try as they did, though, Pauline reports that Nkemdiche did not break. Actually, the opposite of that. "Everyone in attendance was very impressed with his position drills," Pauline wrote, "with some calling it a "special workout."" There's no resting here for the unbroken, though, as the 6-foot-3, 294-pounder has at least 14 meetings, visits or workouts set for the coming days and weeks (per Pauline). Among them, the 49ers, Chargers, Raiders, Buccaneers and Bears. The Giants and Broncos will also be making that cut.
Mar 28 - 6:25 PM