Ole Miss Star Robert Nkemdiche Character Issues May Drop him further than Excepted in 2016 NFL Draft
Ole Miss defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche was built for the game of football. The perfect combination of size, speed, and power, Nkemdiche was at one point considered the sure-fire No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Then he was labeled a top-five talent. Now Nkemdiche’s landing spot is completely up in the air with no one to blame besides himself.
“At what point does the risk justify the reward?” said draft analyst Mike Mayock. “For me, Nkemdiche is a total question mark. I have no idea where he could end up, but he’s a top-five talent.”
Nkemdiche first made headlines for his off-field antics when he fell off a balcony in Atlanta in December. Nkemdiche was cited for marijuana possession, but he claimed he was only drunk when he broke the window and fell into the bushes 15 feet below him. NFL teams seem to be under the impression that Nkemdiche was smoking synthetic marijuana at the time.
Ole Miss responded by kicking Nkemdiche off the team. Things got even worse for the star lineman in February when he had a hard time defending himself in interviews with different organizations. He even casually admitted to being a “lazy” player.
Even worse, Nkemdiche threw his teammate, offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil, under the bus by placing him in the same hotel room. Tunsil was also a projected No. 1 overall pick; however, his location on that night was not a matter of public record beforehand.
“His character will keep him off the board for us,” an NFL scout told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel when asked about Nkemdiche. “He’s talented enough to be in the top 10, but holy shit, buyer beware on this one.”
“That’s not who I am,” said Nkemdiche at the Draft Combine when asked about his issues. “That’s not what I stand for. That’s not what my family stands for. It was embarrassing for me and my whole family. I’m never going to return to that.”
Whether or not Nkemdiche can shape up in the pros is yet to be seen; however, millions of dollars usually doesn’t help much in these cases.