Arizona Cardinals' Robert Nkemdiche Stealing The Spotlight At Rookie Minicamp

By Jason Shawley

Arizona Cardinals rookie Robert Nkemdiche was selected No. 29 overall in the 2016 NFL Draft and is already standing out at the team’s rookie minicamp.

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.

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