Robert Nkemdiche is hard to overlook. The 6’4” 300lb. defensive lineman was easily spotted on Saturdays giving fits to offenses in the Southeastern Conference for the past three years. He was not easy to miss when he fell four stories out of the window of the Grand Hyatt Hotel, in Atlanta back in December when he and Ole Miss teammates Laremy Tunsil and Laquan Treadwell were drinking, in which Nkemdiche was also charged for marijuana possession.
The entire country took notice when early mock draft boards had him going as early as 2nd overall. Now, as we are 10 days from the NFL Selection Meeting, it seems that several teams are not looking in the direction of the former five-star high school recruit.
One of the biggest knocks that NFL Front Offices have on Nkemdiche is that his relationship with older brother Denzel may be more of a detriment than benefit to him. Two very mysterious hospitalizations since November are red flags for potential drug related issues for the older brother. Also, there are rumors circulating around that if a team were to select Robert, would they have to be his brother’s keeper as well? It’s one thing to deal with a headache that has the potential that Robert possesses, but something totally different when it comes from a late round, or possibly undrafted player, which is what many experts predict for Denzel.
Other than the incident and resulting arrest in Atlanta, there isn’t much of anything damning to Nkemdiche’s character. He plays the saxophone, writes short stories and wants to buy a panther with is first NFL check. Yes, a Panther… From all accounts this is a creative spirit about to embark on a world where creative spirits are looked upon with suspicion and in some ways distain.
At the end of the day, talent always wins out whenever making personnel decisions. The talent that this 21 year old has been blessed with surely cannot go overlooked– or can it?