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ESPN: Robert Nkemdiche predicted as breakout rookie for Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals' rookie defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche in training camp on Aug. 22. (Photo by: Adam Green/Arizona Sports)

We’re nearing the finish line of the preseason, and soon, the games will start counting for real.

The Arizona Cardinals’ first-round draft pick Robert Nkemdiche has yet to see any game action, but remains the top rookie candidate to breakout for the team.

Nkemdiche might be part of the Cardinals’ deepest position, but he will quickly become a spectacle to behold on the field. Arizona plans to rein in his snaps to harness his energy and limit fatigue. The more bounce Nkemdiche has, the more he’ll be able to show just how quickly and often he can get to the quarterback. — Josh Weinfuss

According to Arizona Sports’ Adam Green, one of the five things to watch in the Cardinals third preseason game against the Houston Texans is the return of Nkemdiche. The rookie has been recovering from an ankle injury suffered at the start of training camp.

By taking a chance on Nkemdiche back in April in the NFL Draft amid off the field concerns, the Cardinals are dedicated to revamping the pass rush. Arizona ranked No. 20 last season with 36 sacks.

The 21-year-old collected six sacks and 81 total tackles in his collegiate career at Mississippi.

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