Buccaneers Need to Pass on Nkemdiche
Many questions about Robert Nkemdiche’s character have come up after three mediocre seasons with Ole Miss. Should the Buccaneers consider him in the draft?
Robert Nkemdiche was highly recruited coming out of high school and ended up playing college football for the Rebels of Ole Miss. At 6 feet 3 inches and 293 pounds, Nkemdiche has amazing athletic ability possessing the speed of a defensive end, but the power of a defensive tackle, making him very attractive to many NFL scouts. The Buccaneers have a need at the defensive end position. Should they consider this player?
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Unfortunately for Nkemdiche there comes a time when the production needs to match the athletic ability, which Nkemdiche has yet to. Over the course of a three-year college career, Nkemdiche played in 29 games in which he accumulated 81 tackles and only six sacks. He also was not able to force, nor recover a fumble in any of those 29 games. To be fair , out of the 81 tackles, 16 were for a loss of yards, but this is far from spectacular for a player with this much hype. After being arrested and charged for possession of marijuana on December 15th, 2015, Nkemdiche was suspended and missed the 2015 Sugar Bowl which would have been his last chance to make a good impression.
In 2015 Nkemdiche was projected by many analyst to be the 1st overall pick for the 2016 NFL draft, but this no longer appears to be the case. After many analyst have reported character issues, along with missing the 2015 Sugar Bowl due to being arrested, Nkemdiche’s guarantee of a top-10 overall pick seems to be in jeopardy, but regardless it would be wise to pass on Nkemdiche if he is on the board when the Bucs go on the clock with the 9th overall pick in the NFL Draft.
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There is no reason for the Bucs to be taking risks and bringing in “projects” because the NFL Draft has lots of young talented players to choose from that can help their team. Nkemdiche is not the type of player you bring in when you are trying to change the culture of a franchise. The coaching staff for the Bucs needs players who are willing to compete at 100% on every play. Saying Nkemdiche played hard 50% of the time for Ole Miss might be a stretch. Based on three mediocre seasons for the Rebels of Ole Miss drafting Nkemdiche with the 9th overall pick would be extremely irresponsible for a team looking to regain the support of their loyal fan base.
Stats by sports-reference.com