Reflecting on Arizona Cardinals top draft picks of the Steve Keim Era
Every other draft magazine warned fans about Nkemdiche. While the 296-lb defensive end impressed during his college career at Ole Miss and his numbers jumped out at the NFL Combine, character issues surrounded him.
Nonetheless, Keim bit and drafted Nkemdiche anyway late in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He went on to play in just 5 games during his rookie season and barely contributed to the stat sheet.
He played in 12 games in 2017 but recorded just 11 tackles and a forced fumble. Nkemdiche finally showed flashes in 2018 after he recorded 4.5 sacks and 32 tackles, but it wasn’t enough to convince the Cardinals to pick up on his fifth-year option.
A failed physical designation prompted his release in July 2019 and he later signed with the Miami Dolphins. After spending time and a brief activation form the PUP list, the Dolphins released him in November of that year and he never played another NFL down.