Defensive tackle Calais Campbell is leaving the Arizona Cardinals and signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars. His departure will give Ole Miss football standout Robert Nkemdiche an opportunity to step up.
It has been reported by several media outlets that defensive tackle Calais Campbell is leaving the Arizona Cardinals and heading to Florida to play for the Jacksonville Jaguars. This will give former Ole Miss football star Robert Nkemdiche the chance to get on the field a lot more during the 2017-18 season.
Campbell was a mainstay on that Cardinal defensive line. According to AZcardinals.com, Nkemdiche is listed as Campbell’s second team replacement. Calais Campbell was a disruptive presence for the Cardinals and, as a result, collected eight sacks and even snagged an interception. Campbell’s stats made him a prime target for the Jaguars in the off-season.
Campbell’s leaving will allow Robert Nkemdiche an opportunity to work his way into more playing time. However, there is no guarantee. Big Rob only saw action in five games. The 2016 first round draft pick has not lived up to his billing. He was once projected as the first pick of the draft. However due to personal and legal issues, he fell down the draft board.
The Cardinals believed that Campbell was going to be too expensive to keep. Therefore, they prepared themselves by drafting Nkemdiche. Coach Bruce Arians told the USA Today at the NFL Combine, “Well, we hope we’ve done that in the draft the last two years, with Rodney (Gunter) and Robert (Nkemdiche).”
He has all the physical talent needed to be a dominant player in the NFL. The only thing ever questioned was his commitment to the professionalism needed to succeed. While here at Ole Miss, he showed flashes of greatness. However, there were times he wasn’t focused. You could see it in his play on the field.
“Well, we hope we’ve done that in the draft the last two years, with Rodney (Gunter) and Robert (Nkemdiche)” coach Bruce Arians said at the NFL combine.
Plus, when you couple his lack of focus with several off field incidents, Nkemdiche at many times has seemed lost. Many wonder whether his potential was ever fully realized here at Ole Miss. However, now the opportunity has come for him to earn serious playing time. Also, if he really works hard this off-season, he could find a spot in the starting lineup.
His biggest obstacle for playing time, is former Delaware State player Rodney Gunter. Gunter is entering his third year in the NFL. Also, Gunter has seen considerably more action than Nkemdiche and has seen success.
However, if Nkemdiche plays the way he is capable of playing, he has the ability to be a very productive player. He has the type of athletic ability, many players his size wish they could possess. His combination of power and speed is rare, even in the NFL.
It is more than likely, that both Nkemdiche and Gunter will have to share time in order to make up for the loss of Campbell. However, if Big Rob takes this opportunity seriously, the sky will be the limit.