Robert Nkemdiche’s talent on the field might just be overshadowed by his recent off-field issues — but that shouldn’t take away from the absolutely insane talent he possesses on the field.
All falling out of windows stories aside, we’re here to break down his game and project draft stock ahead of the most crucial offseason of Nkemdiche’s life. Does he fit for your team?
Pluses and minuses, draft stock and more below.
- Frame and overall size: Nkemdiche possesses tremendous size and build for the defensive end position. Unlike some in this class, the Ole Miss star is built to be able to stop the run due to the pure build of his body and clear work he’s put in. He’s shown the potential to beef up to move inside and stay lean enough to contribute on the outside, making him a potential fit for any defensive line position.
- Strength and natural movement: With his imposing size, Nkemdiche still moves very well for a big man. He’ll need to be coached up at the NFL level to get a continuous rush on the passer, but his natural gifts can’t be denied. Very strong, very able to make plays in tight spaces.
- Versatility: As eluded to above, Nkemdiche’s ability to play multiple positions on the defensive line and perform effectively is a huge plus. NFL scouts look for naturally gifted players who they can coach up to be fits at the NFL-level — bottom line, that applies here perfectly.
- Realm of unknown: While his versatility can be looked upon as a strength, it also leaves some question marks to be answered concerning where he fits at the next level. With his weight recently fluctuating, it’s difficult to see where NFL teams may fit him in from an outside perspective. Not a major issue here, but something of note as players begin to be snatched off the board.
- Inconsistency and Motor: If there’s anything to watch in Nkemdiche’s game, it’s finishing plays and running around at 110% throughout the game. He sack numbers were low, somewhat aided by his occasional let-ups when beaten at the point of attack. When taking notes, the phrase “if he only…” will be written plenty. If he can play with the fire and burst that he can bring to the table on every play, his NFL career will take off without much strain.
Where He Fits
Nkemdiche will be drafted extremely high due to his pure physical traits. NFL coaching will be paramount to his quest to continually climb the ladder, something he’ll find very quickly this spring.
Pencil him in for the top-10, best fitting into a versatile defensive tackle role on a defense, with a sturdy coaching staff giving him the best shot at continued success.