Nkemdiche has a motor as well as physical capabilities that are certainly impressive, though his head coach thinks that he may need to take it back a notch or two. Bruce Arians told the Arizona Republic that Nkemdiche has been relentless in walk-throughs and a bit overly physical.
“He was killing people in walk-through,” Arians stated regarding his rookie. “I had to slow him down. It’s a walk-through, and he bench-pressed a lineman already.”
Nkemdiche stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 296 pounds, and he is only hoping to make a great first impression on his new coaches and teammates. But the last thing the team wants is an unnecessary injury in May, so Arians is advising his first-round pick to dial it down.
The 21-year-old may be the best value pick from the opening round. The obvious pick for that distinction is Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, who dropped from a potential top-five pick to No. 13 after a video of him smoking marijuana was leaked to his Twitter account.
Tunsil and Nkemdiche both attended Ole Miss and were both involved in off-the-field issues that played a role in their descent down draft boards.
ESPN regarded Nkemdiche as the Southeast’s top high school prospect since the 1980s during his recruitment. He signed a four-year, $8.8 million deal with Arizona with a signing bonus of $4.4 million. He’s obviously on the low end of the first-round pay scale, but still doing pretty well. The Cardinals have to be happy with their investment thus far.