ARIZONA CARDINALS

NFL.com lists Robert Nkemdiche as major disappointment

Dec 22, 2016, 3:10 PM | Updated: 5:37 pm
New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) is hit by Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Robert...
New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) is hit by Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche (90) and defensive end Calais Campbell (93) during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Oct. 17, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. The play was ruled an incomplete pass. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

A season that began with high expectations for the Arizona Cardinals has turned into a major disappointment for players, coaches and fans.

While many will play the blame game of what went wrong for the Cardinals this year, some have pointed the finger at the team’s draft class, and in particular, first-round pick Robert Nkemdiche.

NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah graded rookie first-rounders on defense and listed the 6-foot-4, 296-pound defensive tackle out of Mississippi as a major disappointment. Jeremiah graded the 29th overall pick with a D -minus.

Nkemdiche was an enigma in college. He has all of the physical ability, but he rarely put it all together. He’s been a massive disappointment in his rookie year. He’s played in only four games this fall and he’s produced one tackle.

Injuries and lack of consistency in practice have hurt Nkemdiche in his rookie year. However, he was in the lineup on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints and played 25 snaps.

Coach Bruce Arians said Nkemdiche has progressed in how he prepares and practices.

“He’s learned what professional football is all about,” Arians told the media Tuesday. “You’re a highly-recruited guy and you go into the SEC as one of the top players, you don’t necessarily have to be a pro or work hard because you’re more talented than everybody. When you get here, you’re just another guy. So, you have to learn all that, and it’s a shock to some of them. They have to learn how to be a pro, on and off the field.”

Nkemdiche recorded his lone tackle against Carolina in Week 8.

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NFL.com lists Robert Nkemdiche as major disappointment