Cincinnati Bengals- DT Robert Nkemdiche (Ole Miss)
The Bengals lost in typical Bengal fashion in the Wild Card round to rival Pittsburgh after boneheaded mistakes by Vontaze Burfict and of course Pacman Jones. Somehow head coach Marvin Lewis got a one year contract extension after that mess. That’s another topic for another time. Cincinnati lost both Marvin Jones and Mohammed Sanu during free agency leaving a hole at wide receiver besides AJ Green. Veteran wideout Brandon Lafell was signed to likely compete for a starting gig. I believe the Bengals will address the wide receiver position later in the draft since tight end Tyler Eifert is a valuable weapon for Andy Dalton as well. Robert Nkemdiche from Ole Miss is one of the more controversial prospects in this year’s draft class. He was the highest rated prospect in the nation before attending Ole Miss, but underperformed during much of his time while there. Nkemdiche also had his off the field issues including an arrest for marijuana and a fall from an Atlanta hotel room. Defensive tackle Domata Peko is 31 years old for the Bengals and his better playing days are likely to decline. Nkemdiche has an exceptional build to play the defensive tackle position while also being able to move like a defensive end. He showed his improved ability to play in various techniques while also doubling his quarterback pressures in 2015. Overall, the production was simply not enough during his time at Ole Miss as he only registered 6.5 sacks during three seasons with the Rebels. His work ethic and personal character have been called into question which is justified based on his recent actions off the field. The Bengals seem to have no problem bringing in questionable character players to their roster so I don’t see them balking to select Nkemdiche. The talent is certainly there to develop into a force in the league, but Nkemdiche will need to prove he’s willing to do all the necessary steps to reach that point.