Robert Nkemdiche has had some off the field issues, but I think he’s a versatile player that would fit the Steelers well.
(Disclaimer: This is my first year diving into pre-draft stuff, examining,dissecting, etc. I ask for your patience in my growth in this area. Enjoy!)
Like I’ve said before, the Steelers have some holes on the defensive line. All of us are expecting them to add depth at that position at some point in the draft.
Now, let’s take a look at someone that would make sense for the Steelers at 25.
Name: Robert Nkemdiche
Height: 6′ 5″
Birthdate: 9/19/1994 (age 21)
Arm: 33 7/8
Hand: 10 3/4
Wingspan: 80 5/8
Projection: 1st-2nd Round
Breakdown: Robert Nkemdiche is a versatile player on the defensive line. Coming out of Ole Miss, Nkemdiche accumulated 34 tackles, 8 TFL, and 2 sacks. He was a five-star defensive tackle recruit out of high school.
Nkemdiche is a leaner, more trimmed than most defensive tackles. He’s quick on the snap, and is endless in pursuit of the ball-carrier. His quickness and upper body strength often draws double-teams.
Not only can Nkemdiche play defensive tackle, but he can also play at end in a 3-4 look, and nose tackle in a 3-4 look. From the small amount of film that I watched on him, Nkemdiche seems to put more consistent pressure as a 3-4 end, than as a DT or NT.
Nkemdiche has also seen snaps on offense and special teams at Ole Miss. On 5 attempts, Nkemdiche rushed for 32 yards, and has even caught a pass for 31 yards. I don’t see the Steelers using him on offense, but I could be wrong.
From what I saw of Nkemdiche (against Alabama), it seems he gets easily lost in the commotion, mostly on running downs. He needs to clean up his gap integrity, he can lose sight of it pretty quickly. He has the tendency of not anchoring or using his hands once engaged with a blocker.
The one thing that worries me about this guy are his off the field issues. In December 2015, Nkemdiche was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana. He was suspended from the Sugar Bowl for falling from a 15-foot wall after out of a fourth-floor window. There’s still an on-going case of Nkemdiche and his brother allegedly assaulting a fellow Ole Miss student.
You know, you read these and think to yourself “What is going on in your head?” One of my biggest pet peeves is seeing talented athletes make, and continue to make, dumb decisions, that eventually get them kicked out of their respective league.
According to Mark Kaboly of Trib Live, the Steelers hosted Robert Nkemdiche for a pre-draft visit today, along with a few other players. Now, this doesn’t indicate a whole lot, this is normal pre-draft process for every NFL team.
As we get closer and closer to the draft, the more I become convinced that the Steelers will take a defensive lineman with their 25th pick.
Now let’s see how right my gut is.