Robert Nkemdiche, DE/DT, Ole Miss
6’5 293 lbs
Height, weight, speed is impressive. Looks like a much smaller man, built very well. Impressive burst upfield, good array of pass rush moves.
Heavy penetrator but not very patient, can take himself out of plays and does often. Comparable against the run versus pass, probably a better pass rusher though. Can get washed out by double teams and beaten by talent one-on-one.
Plays like a much smaller man and needs to learn to use his size to dominate, that comes with understanding of pad level. He uses swim, rip, spin and can slide through double teams with ease when pass rushing. He’s also as sure a tackler as there is in this draft.
Technique: 4 out of 5
Nkemdiche is an impressive technician, using a wide array of moves to work his way to the quarterback. His rip and swim moves are his best, but he uses the spin move better than most. He has the balance to get around the edge but the bend is still being developed.
Effectiveness: 3 out of 5
His sack numbers were low, but rushing from primarily the DT spot limited his opportunities. On tape, he’s a consistent presence in disrupting the quarterback and forcing the ball out quicker.
Potential: 5 out of 5
With his impressive size, athleticism and pass rush moves, there’s no reason to believe Nkemdiche couldn’t evolve into one of the NFL’s most dangerous rushers on the edge of a 4-3.
Technique: 3 out of 5
While he’s effective at clogging gaps and disengaging from blockers, he gets washed out by double teams due to poor pad level. He slides between linemen with more grace than most, though.
Effectiveness: 4 out of 5
His tackle numbers are fairly on par for the position and amount of games (11) he played in 2015. But what really impresses is Nkemdiche’s ability to wrap up and bring down the ball carrier by himself in space.
Potential: 4 out of 5
The one thing that keeps Nkemdiche from being an elite prospect against the run on the edge is his finesse nature as a player. He doesn’t appear to have the ability to anchor and hold against stronger lineman. Other than that, he has all of the tools and could find a niche as an explosive play specialist.
TOTAL PROSPECT RATING: 23/30
NFL Comparison: Mario Williams, DE, Buffalo Bills
Perhaps a lofty comparison, Williams is the best pass rushing 4-3 end in the league, using his size to dominate and complete array of pass rush moves to beat tackles of all sizes and skill sets. Rushing off the edge, Nkemdiche is the most complete pass rusher in this draft and easily the most pro ready. He might have 10 sacks by year 2 in the right system.