When it comes to Ole Miss defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche, ESPN’s John Clayton believes the Arizona Cardinals should take a look at him in the upcoming NFL Draft.
“Here’s a player that has that talent and if you can coach him up and keep him clean, then all of a sudden you have a Pro Bowl-caliber player at the bottom of the first round,” Clayton told Arizona Sports 98.7 FM’s Doug and Wolf on Friday.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Thursday that Nkemdiche was expected to visit with the Cardinals.
According to Bleacher Report, Nikemdiche’s pro day didn’t turn out all that great as the 6-foot-3, 294-pound tackle opted not to run the 40-yard dash again, standing on his 4.87 second time from February’s NFL Combine, but did take part in position drills.
Once thought of being a top-five lock in the draft, Nikemdiche has been slipping on many draft boards as questions continue to swirl about his off-field issues. Nkemdiche was arrested on drug chargers after falling out of a hotel window and was suspended from the Rebels’ Sugar Bowl appearance.
“You have a talent that is going to be a top-five guy that could fall to a playoff-caliber team and if you are going to be Arizona, if you are going to be Seattle, you have to seriously consider him,” Clayton said.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein currently has the New York Jets taking Nkemdiche in the first round with the 21st overall pick while both Charles Davis and Bucky Brooks have him the Cardinals taking him with their 29th pick.
However, Clayton feels he will be gone by the time the Cardinals pick.
“I think he has too much talent and there’s too many other playoff teams with solid locker rooms that can take him in,” he said. “The playoff teams have a better roster. They have a better ability to take a player that has a problem because you have so many players doing positive things and so I would have to think that he would have to be a consideration, but I think by the time that Arizona picks, he’s going to be gone.”
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