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Robert Nkemdiche | Defensive End

Team: Mississippi Rebels
Ht / Wt:  6'4' / 297

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ESPN Draft analyst Mel Kiper has Ole Miss junior DL Robert Nkemdiche as the top underclassmen defensive tackle prospect in the country.
"The production totals don't really pop for Nkemdiche, but the athletic 6-4, 296-pounder is just starting to come into his own," he wrote. "He'll continue to improve as he gets a little bit stronger and plays more when 100 percent healthy." Nkemdiche was a first-team All-SEC selection last season after recording 35 tackles and two sacks while constantly dealing with multiple blockers. "A widely heralded recruit two years ago, I expect big things from him this season. (It's not easy to come in and make a major impact as a D-line tweener in the SEC, after all.)," Kiper wrote. Jul 20 - 12:28 AM

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When Ole Miss junior DL Robert Nkemdiche is on, writes Sports on Earth's Matt Brown, "there's nobody better at the position."

You can probably guess where Brown estimates Nkemdiche's upcoming motivation by ranking him as the best defensive tackle in the class. "Consistency remains an issue with Nkemdiche, but otherwise he's on the verge of becoming, as advertised, the No. 1 overall recruit from the class of 2013," Brown wrote. "He shifted inside from defensive end to tackle as a freshman, although he has the versatility to line up anywhere up front for the Rebels." Nkemdiche was named to the first-team All-SEC defense last season after recording 35 tackles and two sacks (despite persistent double teams). "He's a powerful athlete at 6-foot-4, 296 pounds, combining strength and quickness to get off the line in a hurry and generate pressure up the middle," Brown wrote. "He's clearly flashed big-time potential and opens the door for teammates to make plays around him." Rotoworld draft guru Josh Norris slotted Nkemdiche to the Lions at No. 14 in a mock draft.
Jul 14 - 12:57 AM

Ole Miss junior DL Robert Nkemdiche "plays with exceptional athleticism and runs with the fluidity of a defensive end," NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein observes.

"He plays with exceptional athleticism and runs with the fluidity of a defensive end. His ability to attack the gaps helps to frustrate linemen who are slow off the snap and his lateral quickness is what helps make the Ole Miss stunts so tough to deal with," Zierlein wrote. The 6-foot-4, 285-pounder was First Team All-SEC defense last season. Despite commanding a ton of attention, Nkemdiche still recorded 35 tackles and two sacks in 2014.
Jul 2 - 2:55 PM ranks Ole Miss junior DL Robert Nkemdiche as the No. 5 overall prospect.

The site is obviously very familiar with Nkemdiche, who they ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the country coming out of high school. "This is a naturally strong and powerful defensive lineman best suited to play defensive tackle in a 4-3 or the ideal defensive end in a 3-4 scheme," Jamie Newberg wrote. "Nkemdiche is the leanest 285-pound lineman you will ever lay eyes on. He gets off the ball well and simply overpowers the opposition. He has good athleticism and speed for a big man but he will never be confused for a fast, twitchy edge rusher. Nkemdiche can stun blockers with his initial jolt." For some of these reasons, CBS Sports' Dane Brugler believes Nkemdiche will receive comparisons to Leonard Williams. "Nkemdiche is still a work in progress as he continies to learn the game and develop more technique," wrote Newberg. "He's sneaky athletic and actually played some running back in high school. There's no doubt Nkemdiche was one of the greatest hig
May 16 - 11:32 PM

ESPN Draft analyst Mel Kiper has Ole Miss junior DL Robert Nkemdiche as his No.4 overall prospect on his 2016 big board, and believes he "has the potential to break out in 2015 as he gets comfortable."

"He has exceptional movement skills for a player his size (6-4, 280 pounds). And although I want to see more production from him, he has been thrown into the mix early, all while making position adjustments, and has the potential to break out in 2015 as he gets comfortable," Kiper wrote. The Ole Miss prospect started his career at DE and has now moved inside to DT. Nkemdiche has the ability to be effective versus the pass and is strong against the run as well. With his added weight, Nkemdiche could be a fit at DT at the next level, but still has the athleticism and ability to play DE.
May 14 - 3:18 PM

ESPN's Todd McShay slotted Ole Miss junior DL Robert Nkemdiche to the Bengals at No. 17.

"He was the headliner of the Rebels' outstanding 2013 recruiting class, and he's played multiple spots along the Ole Miss defensive front," he wrote. "He has good length, upper-body strength and initial explosiveness." Rotoworld's Josh Norris slotted Nkemdiche to the Lions at No. 14. "Nkemdiche was much better as an interior pass rusher than when lined up on the edge," Norris wrote. "He was extremely quick, powerful and explosive against interior offensive linemen."
May 12 - 10:20 PM

CBS Sports' Dane Brugler believes Ole Miss junior DL Robert Nkemdiche "will likely receive comparisons to expected 2015 first-round pick Leonard Williams."

"Nkemdiche has above average athleticism for his size, using movement skills and lower body fluidity to skirt blockers and easily change directions," Brugler wrote. "He can push the pocket with power and offers the versatility to make an impact vs. the run and penetrate the pocket to make plays in the backfield." Though Nkemdiche started his career at DE and then moved to DT after adding weight, Brugler thinks he "is probably best suited at defensive tackle in the NFL." We think Nkemdiche is miscast when the Rebels line him up inside, though we're open to having our minds changed in 2015.
Source: CBS Sports
May 8 - 6:28 PM

Scout Inc.'s Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl note that Ole Miss sophomore DL Robert Nkemdiche "hasn't lived up to the lofty expectations attached to him coming out of high school."

Nkemdiche, of course, was the top overall recruit in 2013. "Listed at 6-4 and 280 pounds, he can get pushed around working against much bigger interior offensive linemen," they wrote. "He has the explosive first step, upper-body strength and length to overcome his size when he keeps his pads down." We think Nkemdiche is miscast when the Rebels line him up inside. As an outside rusher in a 3-4 alignment, or as a 4-3 end, however? He could be a consistent terror.
Sat, Dec 20, 2014 01:22:00 AM

Ole Miss D-line coach Chris Kiffin believes that sophomore DL Robert Nkemdiche and Ndamukong Suh share some similarities between "their athleticism" and "in terms of their explosiveness and brute strength."

"Kiffin sees some similarities between the athleticism of Nkemdiche and Suh in terms of their explosiveness and brute strength. Kiffin brings up a play from the Rebels’ win over Alabama two weeks ago where Nkemdiche freight-trains a 300-plus-pound Crimson Tide guard on the way to the QB," Feldman wrote. Coaach Kiffin was a part of the Ole Miss staff under Ed Orgeron when they had SEC star DE Greg Hardy, and then Kiffin was a Nebraska staffer when they had All-American Ndamukong Suh.
Source: Fox Sports
Mon, Oct 13, 2014 04:04:00 PM

ESPN's Steve Muench believes Ole Miss sophomore DL Robert Nkemdiche "has the foot speed and agility to play left end in a base four-man front much like Cincinnati Bengal Carlos Dunlap."

"His above-average blend of size and athletic ability makes him tough to block one-on-one, and the attention he draws creates opportunities for his teammates," Muench wrote. "Listed at 6-foot-4 and 280 pounds, he is strong enough to anchor against bigger offensive linemen and has enough quickness to disrupt plays in the backfield when he lines up at defensive tackle in the Rebels' four-man fronts. Nkemdiche also has the potential to develop into an effective interior pass-rusher given flashes of explosive power and active hands." Nkemdiche is a little miscast as a defensive tackle, due to his skinny frame and his propensity to come high out of his stance from time to time. He's looked good as a rush end in 3-4 packages, and would also be an ideal NFL 4-3 DE.
Thu, Oct 9, 2014 09:57:00 PM

Ole Miss sophomore DL Robert Nkemdiche believes he will have a breakout season this fall.

"I can play without my head spinning," Nkemdiche said. "Everything is so calm and easy for me to pick up, and that's why I'm going to have a really big year. ... I'm going to have a huge year this year, man -- I know it." The former No. 1 recruit, 6-foot-4 and 280 pounds, underachieved while struggling with injuries during his true freshman campaign. Nobody expects those struggles to persist. "His sheer size, and he's so big and fast and agile," safety Cody Prewitt said. "You don't see very many guys like that, and I'm glad he's on our side." Added LT Laremy Tunsil, a fellow five-star 2013 recruit: "When I say he bull-rushed me, oh man. I felt all 310 [pounds] just coming at me, full of muscle, six-pack and everything. I was like, 'I see why he's No. 1.' I've never seen somebody so explosive coming off the ball in my life."
Sun, Aug 17, 2014 01:38:00 PM

ESPN's Kevin Weidl notes that Ole Miss sophomore DL Robert Nkemdiche "flashes some impressive feet considering his size."

"Just your typical 6'5, 295 lbs running back," Weidl deadpanned. This isn't the first time this offseason we've heard somebody gush about Nkemdiche's freaky athleticism and frame. In July, senior DE CJ Johnson exclaimed: "I ain't never seen anybody 295 lbs with abs like he's 125 lbs." The former top recruit has lined up on the edge, but we wouldn't be surprised if he's eventually moved inside.
Thu, Aug 7, 2014 07:22:00 PM

When discussing Ole Miss sophomore DL Robert Nkemdiche, senior DE CJ Johnson said "I ain't never seen anybody 295 lbs with abs like he's 125 lbs."

Nkemdiche had previously been listed around 297 lbs, but he could be a much leaner and stronger player this year. The former top recruit has lined up on the edge, but because of his strength to work through opponents, Nkemdiche's future could be as a disruptor on the inside.
Thu, Jul 17, 2014 12:35:00 PM

Ole Miss sophomore DL Robert Nkemdiche and senior LB Denzel Nkemdiche have been sued for $2 million after allegedly beating a man at a frat party last year.

Plaintiff Matthew Baird claims that Denzel Nkemdiche punched him without warning from behind. While unconscious, according to Baird, he was stomped by Robert and five other unnamed people. "When this alleged incident occurred, the proper authorities investigated the matter and could find no evidence of wrong-doing related to Denzel and Robert Nkemdiche or any other members of our football program," said Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork. "This is a personal matter for them and we will support Denzel and Robert while they defend themselves in this civil case." Denzel Nkemdiche is already serving an indefinite suspension stemming from his arrest this past Saturday at his 21st birthday party. He was charged with disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct and failure to comply with a police officer.
Wed, Feb 19, 2014 12:16:00 PM

Ole Miss freshman DL Robert Nkemdiche (hamstring) will return to the field on Saturday against Arkansas.

The country's No. 1 recruit last year has missed the last two games -- against Idaho and LSU -- with a stretched hamstring, an injury he sustained while chasing around Johnny Manziel on Oct. 12. "[Nkemdiche's conditioning] will be something we will watch closely," Freeze said. "The snaps these other guys have had, I don't think he has to play an enormous amount of snaps in the game, but if he can be really effective in the snaps he does play, that's going to pay dividends for us."
Source: Sun Herald
Mon, Nov 4, 2013 08:56:00 PM