PFF scouting report: Robert Nkemdiche, DE, Ole Miss
Here is the PFF draft profile for Mississippi defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, which incorporates PFF’s college grades and scouting intel from our team of analysts. To see all of PFF’s 2016 scouting reports, click here.
4-3 defensive end on early downs, interior pass rusher in subpackages
Stats to know:
Ranked ninth among interior defensive linemen as a pass rusher at +23.4, but 90th against the run at +11.7
What he does best:
• Explosive and disruptive as a pass rusher
• Powerful bull rush, can push the pocket
• Has had success with spin move when rushing passer
• Equally proficient winning as a pass rusher with quickness or with power
• One of the highest pass rush grades in the nation over a two-year period
• Quick off the line of scrimmage, difficult to block on the back side of zone plays. Opposing teams should be hesitant to run away from him due to his quickness
• Could be effective in the run game in more of a 4-3 defensive end position against tight ends
• Struggles overall in the run game, will get destroyed by double teams
• Was better against the run in 2015, but still a huge question mark compared to other interior defensive linemen
• Can run right at him, may never hold up as an every down interior defensive linemen
• Struggles to disengage in the run game if he doesn’t win with initial quickness
• Was a disruptive pass rusher, but has to finish better and turn pressures into sacks
Antonio Smith, Denver Broncos. Smith has been an excellent pass rusher through the years, posting positive grades every year since 2007. He’s struggled in the run game, and Nkemdiche could do the same unless he’s protected on early downs.
Nkemdiche is one of the best interior pass rushers in the class, and that one skill may up his value. He’s not best suited to be an every-down interior player, but masking some of his run game deficiencies at defensive end while kicking him inside to rush the passer is likely his best fit to maximize his skillset.