Position: Defensive tackle.
Combine measurables: 6-foot-3, 294 pounds.
Combine stats: 40-yard dash: 4.87 seconds. Bench press: 28 reps. Vertical jump: 35 inches. Broad jump: 9 feet, 8 inches.
Career stats: 35 games, 98 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 7 sacks.
Draft projection: First round.
Lowdown: Raised serious character questions after being suspended for last January’s Sugar Bowl for an incident that involved him being arrested for misdemeanor marijuana possession after a fall from a 15-foot hotel ledge. … Multiple run-ins with the law and other issues are likely to knock a player with top-10 talent into the middle and possible lower portion of the first round. … Highly impressive combination of size, speed, and athleticism. … Highly versatile, can play tackle or end, as he did at Ole Miss. … Moves exceptionally well for his size. … Can dominate at the point of attack. … Modest sack numbers don’t reflect his consistent ability to generate pressure. … Has already developed a pretty good repertoire of pass-rush moves. … A significant force against the run. … Tendency to play out of control causes him to blow gap assignments. … Often has his head down and won’t know where the ball is located. … Failure to consistently play with maximum effort is another cause for concern.
They said it: “With Nkemdiche, I give him to Rex Ryan,” with the Buffalo Bills’ 19th overall pick. “There’s going to have to be a good spot, the one where you’re willing to say ‘OK I’m getting a top-five, top-10 caliber player at a bargain point.’ But can you motivate him to the heights he can get to? And that’s where coaching is going to come in.” –ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr.
− Vic Carucci
The Buffalo News is profiling 50 prospects in 50 days leading up to the NFL Draft, which begins April 28.