Seahawks 90-Man Roster Primer: Robert Nkemdiche

Few defensive tackles in the NFL have better physical tools than Nkemdiche, but off-field issues and injuries have prevented him from coming close to reaching his potential. Once poised for stardom, could Seattle prove to be the perfect landing spot for him to revive his career?
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With the calendar flipping to June and offseason programs in full swing across the country, NFL training camps will begin around the league in less than two months. To celebrate the new incoming season, we will be breaking down the Seahawks' 90-man roster over the next several weeks, exploring best and worst case scenarios and what to expect from each player entering the 2021 campaign.

Robert Nkemdiche, Defensive Tackle

Height/Weight: 6-foot-4, 296 pounds

2020 Stats: N/A

Once the No. 1 recruit in the nation coming out of Georgia, Nkemdiche wreaked havoc in the SEC at Ole Miss, garnering Second-Team All-American honors twice. Declaring early for the 2016 NFL Draft, the Cardinals selected him with the 29th overall pick, but he struggled to live up to his draft status due to character issues and injuries. In three seasons with the team, he produced a total of 44 tackles and 4.5 sacks in 27 games before being waived with a failed physical coming off a torn ACL. The Dolphins briefly took a chance on him during the 2019 season, but after playing in just two games, he was waived again and received a two-game suspension from the NFL. After not playing a single snap in 2020, he worked out for the Seahawks in April and the team signed him to a one-year deal shortly before the draft to give him a chance to resurrect his career.

Best Case Scenario: Holding a renewed appreciation for the game after sitting out last year, Nkemdiche's domination on the practice field translates to the preseason as he racks up several sacks in Seattle's three exhibition contests. With his career back on track, he earns a reserve role behind Poona Ford and puts together his best season as a pro, potentially playing his way into the team's future plans.

Worst Case Scenario: Despite getting off to a fast start in Seattle's offseason program, Nkemdiche's act proves to be a mirage as his effort slips and he doesn't do anything to stand out during the preseason. With the experiment not panning out as hoped, the team waives Nkemdiche in final roster cuts and he finds himself out of the league once again.

What to Expect in 2021: To stick in Seattle, Nkemdiche will need to prove his off-field issues are behind him, as he has been suspended by the league before and has had a run-in with police dating back to his time at Ole Miss. After that, the 26-year old will need to show consistency on the practice field and remain motivated to stay in the competition for a roster spot against the likes of Cedrick Lattimore and Jarrod Hewitt. There's no guarantee he will survive cuts, but if someone in the Seahawks coaching staff can tap into his immense potential as an uber-athletic defensive lineman, he will find himself on the roster and could wind up being a steal on a veteran's minimum deal.

Previous Seahawks 90-Man Roster Primers

Alex McGough | Darvin Kidsy | Greg Eiland | Joshua Moon | Cam Sutton | Walter Palmore | Jared Hocker | Brad Lundblade | Aashari Crosswell | Myles Adams | Jon Rhattigan | Aaron Fuller | Bryan Mills I Jake Curhan | Jarrod Hewitt | Connor Wedington | Nate Evans | Danny Etling | John Ursua | Gavin Heslop | Pier-Oliver Lestage | Tamorrion Terry | Tommy Champion | Cody Thompson | Josh Johnson | Saivion Smith | Jordan Miller