Report: Saints to host Ole Miss defensive end Robert Nkemdiche

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Sep 13, 2014; Oxford, MS, USA; Mississippi Rebels defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche (5) steps up to the line during the game against the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 13, 2014; Oxford, MS, USA; Mississippi Rebels defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche (5) steps up to the line during the game against the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports /
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According to San Diego Union-Tribune beat writer Michael Gehlken, the New Orleans Saints are next in line to host Ole Miss defensive end Robert Nkemdiche.

Nkemdiche recently visited the San Diego Chargers, and is one the top NFL draft prospects for 2016. His journey with the Ole Miss Rebels has was a bit rocky, as major concerns surfaced around his on-the-field play and off-the-field behavior. After all, Nkemdiche was the nation’s top-rated college prospect when he joined the Rebels in 2013. So, there was a lot of expectations that came with that.

Nkemdiche admitted to being lazy at NFL Combine interviews, which obviously raised a big flag.

"“There’s times I didn’t finish, times I was lazy on some plays,” he said. “But I told (NFL teams) I’m going to keep growing as a player and I’m going to keep learning how to finish and I’m going to keep becoming more of a student of the game and focus on being the best NFL player I can be.”"

Given his statistical lack of productivity in college, any team that considers taking Nkemdiche would essentially be ‘rolling the dice’. He’s a true 3-technique defensive tackle, which is exactly what the Saints got with Nick Fairley. The upside for Nkemdiche is his naturally gifted athleticism, and that he did double his quarterback pressures year over year from 13 to 26.

There’s little to no question that the Saints could keep improving and upgrading their defensive line through the draft, but Nkemdiche may not be best suited for the Big Easy given his character concerns.

Nkemdiche will be one of 25 prospects in attendance for night one of the draft festivities in Chicago, Illinois on April 28. However, there’s no guarantee that he will even be selected in the first round.

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