Five Potential Detroit Lions to Watch in CFB Week 7

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Robert Nkemdiche, Defensive Tackle, Ole Miss

Dec 31, 2014; Atlanta , GA, USA; Mississippi Rebels defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche (5) takes the field prior to facing the TCU Horned Frogs in the 2014 Peach Bowl at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Sticking with the Mississippi/Memphis game, say hello to No. 5 on the Ole Miss defensive line. That’s Robert Nkemdiche, a viable candidate for top 10 overall selection at a position of dire need in Detroit.

Nkemdiche wins with a barrage of power, quickness and litheness that seems unnatural for a 300-pound human. His physical traits are worthy of lofty draft status according to just about every draft analyst, including Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller:

Now for the wet blanket. For all his considerable gifts and ability to disrupt opposing offenses, there is shockingly little production on the stat sheet. In six games so far, Nkemdiche has more rushing touchdowns (2) than sacks (1.5). He has just eight solo tackles, barely one per game. He does indeed make everyone around him better by being the focal point of the blocking, but such a premium draft slot demands significant production in the NFL. If he’s not producing in college, how exactly will he improve on that at the next level? That’s something the Detroit Lions will need to evaluate carefully.