"Whether Nkemdiche is a great fit in Philly depends a little bit on what kind of system the new coaching staff will want to run, but with
The Nigerian-American 300-pounder is an athletic freak who maxed out with a 400-pound bench press and 500-pound squat and also recorded a 34-inch vertical and 4.7-second 40-yard dash during preseason testing. Nkemdiche, a standout on both sides of the ball while in high school, has played both defensive end and defensive tackle in three seasons with the Rebels and has even been used occasionally as a rusher out of the backfield in short-yardage situations.
In 2015, he notched 26 tackles, seven of which came behind the line of scrimmage, and three sacks. He also scored two goal-line touchdowns on the ground and also scored on a 31-yard reception out of the backfield during a 76-3 rout of UT Martin. Some, including Mel Kiper’s partner at ESPN, Todd McShay, had projected Nkemdiche as a top-5 pick at one point earlier this year. But that changed when the 21-year-old was arrested on drug charges last month and suspended from playing in the Sugar Bowl.
For Nkemdiche, who has otherwise stayed out of trouble during his three years in Oxford, pre-draft interviews figure to play a major role in determining where he is selected in this year’s draft. But if executives believe that this isolated incident is something the standout defensive lineman has learned from and moved past, he could be a steal for the team that selects him.