Nkemdiche’s stock fell after character issues stemming from an Atlanta incident in Dec. Yet, with the leadership of the Cardinals, they can turn him around.
They were criticized for taking Tyrann Mathieu years ago, but he turned out to be a star. Bruce Arians, head coach, is hoping that Nkemdiche can do the same — who was projected to be the top pick before the whole thing happened in Dec.
Also, besides getting Nkemdiche, they also traded for defensive end Chandler Jones in the off-season. It’s going to be a freakish line for other NFL teams next season.
“The Cardinals made a trade this offseason to make the pass rush better by getting Chandler Jones from the [New England] Patriots,” NFL Network‘s Mike Mayock said. “Now, they make the inside better. This is a top-10 talent, but has inconsistent tape.
“I think he ended up in a great spot. The Cardinals were 20th in the league in sacks last season, and they will get better this year. From a value perspective, this is a home-run pick.”
Nkemdiche has elite athleticism that helped him be one of the top defensive end prospects in the country. He was the No. 1 prospect in the 2013 recruiting class.
While he had pro-ready skills, he never had great production at Ole Miss.
His career — which ended without a bowl game — as he was arrested for marijuana possession after taking a fall from an Atlanta area hotel room. He was using synthetic marijuana, also known as spice, before his fall.
Jones also had an incident with spice that led him to turning himself in to authorities late in the season.