Will the Pittsburgh Steelers draft a defensive lineman in the first round?
With the draft process about over, teams are finalizing their boards. The Steelers are no different. The secondary is a major area of need on the defense as with the defensive line, you could benefit from a high draft pick.
In every draft, there are a handful of players who are high risk, high reward. Many of those guys this year are defensive line prospect. Probably the biggest risk, reward player in this draft is Ole Miss defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche.
Nkemdiche has been hailed as a 1st round pick since his freshmen season. Out of high school he was the number one recruit in the country, looking like a man amoungst boys. But like many top recruits before him, Nkemdiche failed to live up to the hype.
In 3 seasons, he totaled 81 tackles, 16 for loss and 6 sacks. Those are underwhelming stats for a 5-star recruit. Nkemdiche did show flashes of great potential and ability, showing all the signs of a future NFL Pro Bowler. However, he would get lost during games, making little to no impact on the defense. Coaches will have to go the extra mile to get all of the talent out of Nkemdiche.
And that is the big question with Nkemdiche, does he really care about football? The kid has all the talent in the world to be the next great versatile defensive lineman in the NFL. He’s 6’3 294 pounds of solid muscle, almost like a Greek God. But there is the baggage he comes with, mainly the off the field problems.
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Back in December, Nkemdiche was arrested at an Atlanta hotel and was subsequently suspended for the Sugar Bowl. He was charged with marijuana possession after he fell 15 feet from a hotel balcony, walking after with only a couple scratches. If I fell 15 feet, something would break in my body. Due to his freakish frame, Nkemdiche was unharmed, which is amazing.
If I were making the pick for the Steelers, Nkemdiche is a name I would float around depending on how the draft goes. Unless the top corners, safeties and other defensive linemen are off the board, Nkemdiche is too risky of a pick.
The Steelers have made crazy decisions before in the draft, hopefully Nkemdiche is not the next one.