Arizona Cardinals Rookie Watch: Victor Dimukeje

The Cardinals hope to get production in the pass rush with rookie Victor Dimukeje playing in the rotation.
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The Cardinals minicamp ended Thursday, but it was an important time for the team’s rookies to get a lot of work with the veterans.

This is the sixth in a series that looks at 2021 rookies and the fourth of the team’s seven draft picks: Duke outside linebacker Victor Dimukeje.

The story includes a video analysis of Dimukeje from Ric Serritella of NFL Draft Bible.

The Skinny: Not the fastest pass rusher around, but Dimukeje possesses the bend and leverage to help him win the edge. He has a stout and rocked-up frame that helps him get underneath bigger, more powerful offensive linemen and beat them to the point of attack. His motor and work ethic are two things that will endear him to the coaching staff.

What They’re Saying: “I watched a little film, you can tell he's got a high motor. If [general manager] Steve [Keim] is comparing you to me, I know you're working hard. If you've got that, I know for sure you've got a shot. You'll put the work in." – Markus Golden, Arizona Cardinals linebacker

Tidbit: Selected by Arizona with their first pick of the sixth round (210th overall) of the 2021 NFL Draft out of Duke, becoming the second Blue Devil selected by the Cardinals in the last 56 years and the first since LB Melvin Parker in the 15th round (371st overall) in 1973.

Background: Moved to the United States with his family at age 8 from his native Lagos, Nigeria. Started all 49 games played during his four-year career at Duke (2017-20), earning All-ACC accolades during his junior and senior campaigns and named a semifinalist for the 2020 Lott IMPACT Trophy. Became a starter as a true freshman and earned freshman All-America honors.

How He Fits: He played in a 4-3 base at Duke but is more than capable of standing up in the Cardinals’ 3-4 scheme. Arizona intends to use a pass-rush by committee and due to Dimukeje’s ability to pick up the defense fast, he could carve out a nice role as a situational pass-rusher.

By the Numbers: At 6-foot-2, 262 pounds, Dimukeje totaled 166 tackles, 21.5 sacks (second-most in school history), 36 tackles for loss, 28 quarterback pressures, one interception, five forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries in his career. As a senior, he had 44 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, five quarterback pressures, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in 11 games.