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Seahawks Add Defensive Line Depth, Sign Robert Nkemdiche

With just hours before the 2021 NFL Draft commences, the Seahawks have added yet another piece to their overhauled defensive line.

Despite entering the offseason with one of the worst salary cap situations in the NFL, the Seahawks have been busier than most teams on the market over the past six weeks. Speaking with the media Wednesday afternoon, head coach Pete Carroll alluded to even more moves being on the way.

While it remains to be seen what else they may have in store, we now know of at least one transaction. Thursday morning, with the 2021 NFL Draft just a few hours away, the Seahawks officially announced the signing of defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche. 

Drafted by the Cardinals at pick No. 29 in the 2016 draft, Nkemdiche has failed to live up to his first-round status thus far. Registering a meager 4.5 sacks in five seasons - all of which coming in 2018 - he was never a legitimate factor along Arizona's defensive line. That made cutting him with a failed physical designation a relatively easy decision after the now 26-year old tore his ACL late in the 2018 campaign.

Eventually landing with the Dolphins, Nkemdiche was activated from the PUP list at the halfway point in 2019 and appeared in two games. He would then be waived by the team, however, and subsequently suspended by the NFL for a pair of games shortly thereafter.

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Nkemdiche hasn't been in the league since, but the Seahawks are giving the former Ole Miss stud one last chance to turn things around. He joins a retooled defensive line that features the likes of Carlos Dunlap, Kerry Hyder Jr., Poona Ford, Al Woods, and others. 

Seattle may view him as a potential backup to Hyder, who can play inside but will serve as the team's 5-tech strongside defensive end/big end. He should also get a decent chance to see snaps at 3-tech defensive tackle, with Ford and Woods seemingly the only interior defenders truly guaranteed a roster spot heading into the season. Expect him to join Bryan Mone and Cedrick Lattimore in a competition to make the team this summer.

Set to play at the age of 27 this fall, Nkemdiche is still relatively young and could benefit from the right situation. If anyone can help revitalize his career and get him on the right track, it's likely Carroll and the Seahawks.