According to a new report from Matt Miller at Bleacher Report, Robert Nkemdiche's 2016 NFL Draft stock may be on the rise, notwithstanding his December crash through an Atlanta hotel room window and subsequent marijuana possession charge. Miller names both the San Diego Chargers and the Dallas Cowboys as two teams that have interest in the versatile defensive end, and with the No. 4 pick this April, Jerry Jones' club may very well grab a 6'4, 296 lbs. wrecking ball.
Here's what Miller has to say:
Teams in the top 5 are evaluating him like he's going to be a top-5 pick. Especially the Dallas Cowboys have been very, very involved, starting to get background information on him from trainers and from coaches, reaching out to that Ole Miss Staff. And also the San Diego Chargers. So you have teams picking there early in the draft who have a need for defensive tackle or for a five-technique defensive end in a 3-4 scheme. His athleticism is so, so appealing to be 6-4, 285 pounds and run like a tight end or a wide receiver, people are excited. I think we're going to continue to see his name move back up from where it was during the season. From what I've heard, it's one incident. It's something teams are going to be able to get over if he takes care of business between now and the NFL Draft.
All scouting on Big Rob naturally retreads concerns with his character and off-field comportment -- an unfortunate if not unfounded anxiety -- and any ownership should take seriously an emotional episode that could have ended in paralyzation or death. Still, the league has a knack for looking past such and worse flaws, especially Jerry Jones' Dallas Cowboys, who only now are airing vocal grievances with known woman-beater and former Rebel Greg Hardy.
The Cowboys had an abysmal 2015 season, going 4-12 overall with just two wins at home and the 22nd-ranked rush defense in the league. At 4-12 as well, the Chargers fared nothing better, ranking 20th in overall defense and 27th in rush defense.
Previous draft projections slated Nkemdiche into the mid-to-late teens of the first round, but with the Nos. 3 and 4 picks respectively, the Chargers and Cowboys could make an early play for a demonstrated five-technique powerhouse.