Robert Nkemdiche plans unusual post-draft purchase
Former Ole Miss defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche marches to the beat of his own drum.
We learned that much about the NFL prospect during his three years in the SEC. Now it’s time for the rest of the football world to get in on the experience.
ESPN’s Seth Wickersham wrote an extended feature story on the eccentric nature of one of the most physically gifted defensive linemen in this year’s NFL Draft.
Among the things talked about was Nkemdiche’s fascination with panthers. He’s planning to purchase one as a pet as soon as he signs his rookie contract.
Wickersham recalled their lunch conversation during the interview for his story:
And he’s watching Instagram videos of domesticated panthers. He likes the black ones, likes how their eyes glow. He stares at shots of people playing with panthers, wrestling with them as if they were dogs, nudging faces, fearless when they open their mouths. “It’s sick.”
“No, it’s not. They’re like cats.”
Can’t he see the headline? Visitor Mauled by NFL Star Robert Nkemdiche’s Pet Panther.
“If someone comes over and is scared, I’ll put the panther away.”
What will NFL teams think of this plan? And have they given up on trying to project how Nkemdiche’s career will play out?
Nkemdiche entered the 2015 football season considered a likely high first-round pick, but his draft stock has reportedly fallen after a bizarre incident which involved jumping from a hotel room back in December.
He and his brother, Denzel, were removed from the Ole Miss roster before the season could be completed.
The top of the draft board talent is still there, but it is now a question of when an NFL team will become comfortable in investing a draft pick in the off-the-field version of Nkemdiche.
Oh, and just in case Nkemdiche’s quest for a pet panther has inspired you to pursue one of your own, we suggest you first review the film on what it takes to keep one of these beautiful creatures: