|DOB||September 19, 1994||Bench (225 lbs)||28|
|Weight||294 lbs||Broad Jump||9’8″|
|Arms||33.875 in||20 Yard Shuttle||DNP|
|Hands||10.375 in||3 Cone Drill||DNP|
|40 Yard Dash (10 yd split)||4.87 sec (1.68 sec)||60 Yard Shuttle||DNP|
|University of Mississippi (2013-2015)|
|2015 – 29 tackles (7.0 for loss), 3.0 sacks, 2 PDs||All-American Second Team, All-SEC First Team|
|2014 – 35 tackles (4.0 for loss), 2.0 sacks, 1 PD||All-American Second Team, All-SEC First Team|
|2013 – 34 tackles (8.0 for loss), 2.0 sacks, 2 PDs||First Team Freshman All-American, SEC All-Freshman|
The first thing you will notice about Nkemdiche is that his burst off the line of scrimmage is fantastic. Especially, when he anticipates the snap correctly. He consistently dominated opposing blockers by being a full step ahead of them within 1 second off the snap. This burst allowed him to penetrate through his gap and show why he’s a perfect fit for any attacking 1-gap defensive front.
A blessing and a curse, the hard count was and will be used against him relentlessly to try to draw him offsides as it was here against Mississippi State.
One thing that will hurt him in the NFL is his lack of awareness at times. He is so focused at getting up the field, that he doesn’t even read the run correctly coming directly at him. This has to be fixed in the pros or coaches will never trust unless they put him in pass rushing situations only.
At Ole Miss, the defensive coordinator Dave Wommack used a ton of stunts with his defensive lineman. Nkemdiche, in particular, was used a looper for a large percentage of those plays. This in my opinion is a mistake for several reasons.
First, Nkemdiche’s burst off the snap is his greatest gift. As the looper in these stunts, this completely nullifies it. Secondly, and more importantly, Nkemdiche runs them way too far wide and since his cornering ability isn’t the best already he can’t attack the opposite side of the line of scrimmage with any effectiveness.
In the NFL, if coaches want to use the tackle-end stunt like the Cowboys, then Nkemdiche should always be the penetrator from as opposed to the looper.
Overall, Nkemdiche is a long-legged runner with tight hips who struggles at turning the corner effectively which is why his best fit is at 3-tech in a 1-gap system. He simply does not have flexible enough hips to turn the corner.
In this play, Nkemdiche side steps to try to turn on the spot as opposed to dropping his hips and bending at the waist. Some may argue that he was following the wrong player, the WR on the end-around, but I’d argue that based on his helmet movement he actually was following the correct player, but couldn’t turn in time to capitalize.
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