The Arizona Cardinals didn’t expect or need much from Robert Nkemdiche when he was drafted in 2016. Anything he gave the defensive line was just gravy.
Yet, the lack of snaps and the ineffectiveness of the snaps played certainly made fans and some in the media quite frustrated with another lost year from their first round draft pick.
Yet for the Arizona Cardinals, they knew what they were doing.
Nkemdiche was drafted to be part of the replacement squad for Calais Campbell. The Cardinals knew that they needed to have a player in house and when Nkemdiche fell on draft day, it made too much sense.
They knew what they were getting into:
3 plays in a row. nkemdiche in a nutshell pic.twitter.com/HUgQxccZQ1— charles mcdonald (@FourVerts) February 24, 2016
Nkemdiche was always a player that flashed hot and cold, it was finding a way to harness it and make him a consistent threat.
When Nkemdiche flashed though, it was what made people talk about him as a talk five pick:
What happened last season wasn’t an indictment of what type of player Nkemdiche was. It did give us an idea if he would work though.
That is important for the Cardinals and Nkemdiche. They needed to know if he was willing to put the time and energy into it and through the first week of camp, it looks like there is more than hope.
It looks like, there can be some expectations.
While he is still on the second team defensive line unit, he has shown that he is not going to go quietly this year.
He is taking the next step and looks like the type of player that can be not just a contributor, but a force.
Through one week, things look good for the 2016 first round pick.