Ole Miss defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche's bizarre weekend incident in which he fell out of a hotel window might have come as shocking news to most, but to at least one NFL scout, it was par for the Nkemdiche course.
"He's really athletic and he's got strength. He's really a different kid. He may scare some people. He's strange strange," the scout told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in a story published just hours before the 300-pound junior broke a window and took a fall from the Grand Hyatt hotel in Atlanta on Saturday night.
How strange? Strange enough that his friends at the hotel, according to the police report, had no explanation for the fall.
Nkemdiche was subsequently charged with marijuana possession after police found seven rolled marijuana cigarettes in Nkemdiche's hotel room. Nkemdiche climbed a wall after breaking the window and fell from a distance of 15 feet, according to police. If Nkemdiche leaves Ole Miss after the season to pursue a pro career, NFL personnel executives will no doubt have more than a few probing questions for both he and others involved in the incident.
As for Nkemdiche's fall, stitches were required for cuts to his back and leg, and Rebels coach Hugh Freeze would not comment Monday on whether he will be suspended for the Sugar Bowl, where Ole Miss will play Oklahoma State.
Nkemdiche, a junior, has yet to announce whether he will apply for early eligibility into the 2016 NFL Draft. College underclassmen face a Jan. 18 deadline to do so, and several have already made it known that they intend to enter the draft. Nkemdiche is one of the most athletic defensive linemen in college football, and even played some tight end for the Rebels this season. Two scouts who spoke with the Journal Sentinel projected him as a first-round draft choice.
As a draft prospect, Nkemdiche has every physical trait an NFL team could look for in a defensive lineman, likely as a three-technique defensive tackle or perhaps a 3-4 defensive end.
But he'll also come with some red flags that are especially difficult to ignore with a first-round pick.