From dolphin to defensive lineman in the NFL

2014 alum Derrick Nnadi makes it all the way to the AFC championship in his rookie season


Ed Zurga for AP Photo

Derrick Nnadi celebrates a tackle of Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack on Jan. 12 in an AFC divisional game.

Morgan Bush, Staff Writer

Derrick Nnadi, a former Dolphin football star and Class of 2014 alumni, played all the way to the AFC (American Football Conference) championship in his NFL rookie season. Nnadi was a third-round draft pick, and 75th overall, by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2018.

Nnadi, 6 feet 1, 317 pounds and wears No. 91, is the thirteenth on the team with 35 tackles as a defensive lineman. As a rookie, Nnadi played in every game for the Chiefs this season, including their loss against the New England Patriots at the AFC Championship; ending the Chiefs’ chance at the Super Bowl. 

He was named an All-Tidewater player by The Virginian Pilot both his junior and senior year at Ocean Lakes. Nnadi was a four-star recruit, and he was ranked fourth in the country at defensive tackle according to for the Class of 2014. 

He was recruited to play for Ohio State, Virginia Tech, and Penn State, but chose Florida State. While at Florida State for four years, he totaled 165 tackles and eight sacks. Nnadi also played in the Rose, Peach, and Orange Bowls.

His high school coach saw his potential for the NFL while Nnadi was in high school. 

“It’s definitely not a surprise,” said Chris Scott, who coached Nnadi. “He’s the strongest pound-for-pound player that I’ve had a chance to coach. It gives me cold chills just to know how hard he’s worked. And he’s done it the right way.”