Photo of Robert Nkemdiche
Drafted By: Cardinals
  • Round 1
  • Pick 30
  • Overall 29

Combine Results

6.32 ?
  • 4.87 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 28 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 35.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 116.0 INCH
    Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

"The Cardinals made a trade this offseason to make the pass rush better by getting Chandler Jones from the Patriots. Now, they make the inside better. This is a top-10 talent, but has inconsistent tape. I think he ended up in a great spot. The Cardinals were 20th in the league in sacks last season, and they will get better this year. From a value perspective, this is a home-run pick." -- Mike Mayock

  • 6'3" Height
  • 33 7/8" Arm Length
  • 294LBS. Weight
  • 10 3/4" Hands


Nkemdiche (kim-DEECH-ee) presented elite athleticism and quick-twitch movement as the top defensive end prospect in the country coming into Oxford as part of the 2013 recruiting class. He's one of the more interesting prospects in the 2016 draft class, as well, because Georgia native never really had great statistical production despite his manifold pro-ready characteristics. He started 10 games for the Rebels in 2013, garnering Freshman All-American and Freshman All-SEC notice with eight tackles for loss and two sacks on the year. In Nkemdiche's sophomore year, he received second-team All-American honors from several media outlets despite making just four tackles for loss and two sacks in 13 starts. His junior year realized similar results, again being named second team All-American with statistics half as impressive as most others named to the team (seven TFL, three sacks). Nkemdiche's career at Ole Miss ended on a sour note, however, as he was arrested for marijuana possession after taking a fall from an Atlanta area hotel room. He was suspended from the team's bowl game after the incident, and decided to leave for the National Football League.



Exceptional build. Carries no bad weight and has outstanding thickness and power through his rear, thighs and calves. Plus movement skills and runs like a defensive end. Has reactive explosiveness for expanded range as tackler near line of scrimmage. Wrap up finisher who won't allow running backs out of his grasp. Plays with good lateral quickness and can win the race across the face of blockers. Played stronger at point of attack this year. Proved he could penetrate and 2-gap. Showed noticeable improvement as pass rusher this season. Has a decent spin move as pass rusher and plays with the power to force his way through a guard's shoulder and into the backfield. Improved quarterback pressures from 13 to 26 this year.


For all the talent and athletic traits, his production was disappointing. Produced low tackle totals and just 6.5 sacks over three years. Never forced or recovered a fumble. Ducks head into initial off snap losing track of the ball. Tightly ­wound, straight-line athlete who needs play to stay inside his optimal area of movement. Inconsistent effort after his initial pass rush move is thwarted. Needs to develop a counter rush move. Was suspended for Sugar Bowl after being arrested and charged with marijuana a possession. Scouting community has serious concerns about his personal character and work ethic.

Draft Projection

Rounds 1 or 2

Sources Tell Us

"I still don't know if I have a great read on him. I'm usually big on production and he doesn't have it like you want it, but we get paid to coach players up. There is a lot there to coach. I think he'll either drive you crazy or make you look like a genius. Probably not a lot of middle ground is my guess." -- NFC defensive line coach

NFL Comparison

Sharrif Floyd

Bottom Line

Considered the top­-rated prospect in the nation when he signed with Ole Miss, the 3-­technique tackle is considered one of the key cogs in turning around the Ole Miss program. His talent and frame are worthy of an early selection, but his lack of high-­end production and character concerns could cause him to slide. With that said, he has the talent to be an impact starter in the league.
-Lance Zierlein
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-9.00 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl to All-Pro Ability
6.50-6.99 Good NFL Starter with Pro Bowl Potential
6.00-6.49 Chance to become good NFL starter
5.70-5.99 Could become early NFL starter
5.30-5.69 Backup or eventual starter
5.15-5.29 Developmental prospect or special teams potential
5.01-5.14 Back end of the roster
5.00 50/50 Chance of making the roster