Waiting on Nkemdiche

Posted by Darren Urban on December 21, 2017 – 12:53 pm

Robert Nkemdiche, who hurt his wrist last weekend, was back on the field for the open portion of practice today, so he seems to be trending toward getting ready to play against the Giants. That’s always a good thing for the former No. 1 draft pick who has battled injuries and has yet to really make a mark as he comes to the end of his second NFL season.

“I think Robert can be a heck of a player,” coach Bruce Arians said. “He’s just got to learn that this is the NFL, not college. He does well in practice, and then he goes a little rogue in games and just thinks he’s going to ‘out-athlete’ everybody. And he has to use his technique, but the talent is there.”

The Cardinals would like to see something more soon from Nkemdiche, who will be this week’s guest on the Big Red Rage with Karlos Dansby tonight at 6 p.m. He has yet to record a sack in the pros, and has been credited with 10 tackles in 10 games this season. He played 10 snaps before getting hurt against Washington. In the previous two games he played 20 and 14, respectively. It is  — obviously — not what a team wants to get out of a first-round pick. Arians clearly has optimism. Nkemdiche is the one who has to make sure he puts to better use what he is learning.

UPDATE: Nkemdiche speaking on the Big Red Rage, said injuries have undercut his progress. “Once I find my groove, I’ll be dominant.” He said he will play Sunday. “I feel like overall I’ve had a season that, to me, is inconsistent,” he added. “I haven’t been on the field enough and doing things in the right perspective to be consistent. … I don’t think I’m where I want to be.”



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18 Responses to “Waiting on Nkemdiche”

  1. By Big Ken on Dec 21, 2017 | Reply

    I find BA’s assessment very interesting and genuine. But when does the light turn on for this guy? Nkemdichen not BA. (lol)

  2. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Dec 21, 2017 | Reply

    Darren –

    Next time you interview Steve Keim, ask him if he’d draft Nkemdiche over again if he knew then what he knows now. If not, what did he learn from the experience?


  3. By Darren Urban on Dec 21, 2017 | Reply

    Ottis —

    RE: Drafting

    I’m not sure you’ll get a candid answer, but is there any GM who doesn’t want some do-overs every draft?

  4. By Aaron Allery on Dec 21, 2017 | Reply

    Follow this link if you want to feel bad about Nkemdiche and see all of the players taken after him in the draft (M. Thomas NO WR, Deion Jones ATL LB, Jacoby Brissett, IND QB, Dak Prescott, DAL, QB)

  5. By Jo Ball on Dec 21, 2017 | Reply

    The intel on Nkemdiche coming out of college:

    WEAKNESSES For all the talent and athletic traits, his production was disappointing. Produced low tackle totals and just 6.5 sacks over three years. Never forced or recovered a fumble. Ducks head into initial off snap losing track of the ball. Tightly ­wound, straight-line athlete who needs play to stay inside his optimal area of movement. Inconsistent effort after his initial pass rush move is thwarted. Needs to develop a counter rush move. Was suspended for Sugar Bowl after being arrested and charged with marijuana a possession. Scouting community has serious concerns about his personal character and work ethic.

    Pretty spot on. Don’t expect any miracles. He is what he always has been. I remember thinking “not him .. not him… not him” on draft night. Sure enough, Keim selected him and here we are. Of ALL the mistakes Keim has made with top picks in the draft(and there has been a bunch), this one is the one that angers me the most. Mainly because it was so obvious.

  6. By mitchaz on Dec 21, 2017 | Reply

    BA is now saying the exact same thing about Nkemdiche last year—“he has to learn that this isn’t college anymore.” Yet, in pre-season, BA said RN was “unblockable.” Again, which is it?

  7. By Dr. G. on Dec 21, 2017 | Reply

    Mitch….You didn’t say much about Matt Patricia…he’s gonna be my guy at this point for HC. Remember, he had Chandler Jones and the Pats traded him. ((Thank you, Pats)) He is literally one of the smartest guys anywhere near a football with an aeronautical engineering degree. ((But loves football)) His looks are deceiving. He can adjust to anything…just ask Belichick…been everywhere on both sides of the ball.

    Anyway, Matt adjusted quickly, turning overlooked college prospects like Elandon Roberts and Malcolm Butler and castoffs like Shea McClellin and Kyle Van Noy into key players on the league’s top unit…seeming as usual for the Pats.

    Take another look and see what you think.

    Be well….{{some info borrowed}}

  8. By El Gallo on Dec 21, 2017 | Reply

    “He’s just got to learn that this is the NFL, not college.. goes a little rogue..” -BA

    – Oh man… Cards former #1 draft pick hitting the end of his 2nd season and he’s still learning that this isn’t college? He goes rogue, so no discipline? This coming from our head coach. If this isn’t a clear sign that something is Wrong with the coaching/teaching, the players taking/accepting it then I’m not sure what else would constitute it?

    – I’m certain Standards are set in place within contracts, team facilities and Organization. Just as there are in the broader NFL. The athletes sign the dotted lines promising to adhere to these standards. There’s even unwritten standards I’m sure that veterans instill and request from new arrivals. All this to better the team, to create cohesion, to reach goals and ultimately to win. Plain and simple to win.

    If these standards aren’t being met then who’s at fault? The player? The coaches or the FO for not enforcing them? As far as I know, you rise to meet said standards, to fulfill your obligations. If not you lose your place on depth chart, playing time, previous coaching endorsements, and job ultimately. But more so you lose respect.

    Rise to meet the standard, to pursue a common goal. Not lower the standards and see what comes of it or allow mediocrity.

    – Why is he still, now, needing to learn this? Where is the accountability for him, those coaching and employing this version of #90? This flat out sucks, to have this confirmation of where his mental status is.. let alone physically..
    An individual you expected a lot out of being as high a draft selection. Total Bummer..

    -Respectfully, long time fan here

  9. By mitchaz on Dec 21, 2017 | Reply

    Dr. G—

    The mastermind behind the Pats’ defense is Bill Belichick. He’s the wizard behind the curtain. Matt Patricia does a good job, but how much if it is BB?

    Living a couple of mile from Gilette Stadium, I have gotten to know the Pats pretty well. Patricia is a quirky dude. He gets downright goofy—which might be a great thing from time to time. Like breaking out Roger Goodell clown t-shirts prior to Goodell saying he was going to show up for last year’s AFCCG. BB was not very happy with that, even though BB can’t stand Goodell.

    I agree with you that Patricia does well with whatever personnel he is given, which is usually pretty talented. But, again, does he have the gravitas to motivate an entire football team?

    I can also tell you this—since you mention Chandler Jones—BB and MP were not very happy with Jones in NE. Too many games where he was a non-factor. Lots of his production came in spurts or during junk time.

    Plus, there was the incident where Jones half-naked showed up at the police department feeling delirious by the affect of synthetic marijuana. That did not sit well with BB or Robert Kraft. Although they did activate him for the first playoff game and he recorded a sack in that game.

    Now, Chandler Jones this year is having by far his best year in the NFL. Last year he even admitted that he did not pky well for the stretch of game prior to being eliminated from the playoffs—but then showed up big-time the last two weeks.

    One has to wonder what Chandler Jones would think about Matt Patricia as a HC in Arizona. My guess is that he would not be thrilled.

  10. By Scott H on Dec 21, 2017 | Reply

    No, he has NOT been anywhere near what you want from a first round pick. But that is putting kindly. How ’bout he just looks like a damn disaster as we wind down on his 2nd season in the NFL?

    The amount of playing time he has had SCREAMS at you. His stats are horrific. His impact is not even measurable because there has basically been NONE.

    AND he has been injury prone on top of all that.

    Yeah, I’m gonna stick with my description from above – he is a draft day disaster for this team. And when you miss THAT badly on your first round picks, you feel the impact ( or lack thereof ) for years.

    The departure of Calais Campbell and the total and complete lack of impact from the guy we were counting on to fill the void has proved to be a one-two punch from which we re still kissing the canvas.

    Nkemdiche looks like a bust.

  11. By NJAzCardsFan on Dec 21, 2017 | Reply

    Let’s face it…. Nkemdiche is a bust…. Especially as a 1st round pick. If he was a 5-7 round draft choice, I would feel differently. This is why the Cards needs at least a new coaching staff, if not a new GM…. Most 1st round draft choices are starting and making a difference. No sacks in 2 years for a 1st round draft choice… This guy is just sucking up free air and using CAP $’s that could be spent on someone who could be contributing/making a difference…. He is no Dockett and never will be…..

  12. By georgiebird on Dec 21, 2017 | Reply

    1) Nkemdiche like Gabbert is physically gifted
    2) Nkemdiche like Gabbert is a #1 draft choice.
    3) Nkemdiche like Gabbert can “wow” you on a given play.
    4) But both guys don’t have the “awareness”, “touch” and the “smarts” to be standouts. They make playing their position a lot harder than it should be given their physical ability. You can teach a guy a lot of things but you can’t teach intelligence.

  13. By lacardinalsfan on Dec 22, 2017 | Reply

    Reddick, Nkemdiche, Buchannon. 3 of the last 4 first round picks. One should have been a QB to groom. All may be decent at some point, but all 3 have “issues”. Reddick and Buch, tweener guys that didn’t dominate in college at their projected NFL positions. Nkemdiche dominant but had clear red flags.

    Why doesnt Keim ever draft the best player that has dominated his position in college and will transition easily into the pros? Its like hef thinks he is the best at knowing something that noone else knows. He outthinks the room every draft.

    Small school fast, changing positions? Diamond in the rough? If you are one of those we will probably pick you.

    Here is a thought, draft big school, dominant good character guys. Done and done

  14. By AYRW on Dec 22, 2017 | Reply

    Now, he looks like a bust. But let’s give him one more year. If he doesn’t perform at a high-level next year, he must be a bust.

  15. By Steve on Dec 22, 2017 | Reply

    I’m not sure why Robert keeps getting articles written about him here, he’s done absolutely nothing on the field and doesn’t make any plays, bad draft pick.

  16. By ChrisG on Dec 22, 2017 | Reply

    Can you thank Dave Pasch for his article about The Cardinals turning it around in 2018? I too am optomistic, and think the turn around could happen quickly. Plus, spreading hope and joy is what the holidays are all about.

  17. By TucsonTim on Dec 22, 2017 | Reply

    Who cares?

  18. By Dr. G. on Dec 22, 2017 | Reply

    Mitch…Good stuff on Matt Patricia…but you say he is a bit quirky. Frankly, Beilchick could be accused of that too. Aren’t most smart creative people a little tempted to operate outside the lines occasionally? And privacy can be important.

    I’ll give you BB is the effective operative, and that all subordinates learn from their leaders. Matt does not seem like a project…he comes across as very flexible and solutions oriented.

    As for Jones doing something exceedingly dumb, as did The Badger among many others, the lights came on and their success is very notable sands injuries. Some… as DWash are just sad stubborn NFL failures.

    As for Nkemdiche, he is also peculiar and seemingly has maturity issues eg., wanting a real panther etc. Too bad we don’t have a “”red shirt”” program in the NFL for projects like him. Someday he may be another CJones, meanwhile he loves the notoriety and the $$$$. well

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