Round 5 - Pick 135 - Purdue DE Rob Ninkovich - 6'3", 260, 4.91 40
Ninkovich is a tough, feisty and hard-working defensive end from Purdue whose spirit is much more willing and capable than his build. Ninkovich is undersized and not a speed rush threat but plays smart and violently. He outplayed underclassman DE Ray Edwards, who left school early and was drafted by Minnesota in the late fourth round, eight picks before Ninkovich.
Ninkovich is experienced on special teams and plays with a high revolution motor. Typically plays between 250-270 pounds, which probably makes him too light to ever be a full time, three-down starter. Nevertheless, he was always around the ball and has "it" that makes him a better football player than athlete. Was durable, reliable and very productive, with 8 sacks playing only part time in 2005, including four against Indiana, and 16 over two seasons. Also had two interceptions, a fumble recovery, a fumble forced, two passes defensed and a one-yard touchdown reception when he lined up as an eligible end. At the combine, Ninkovich ran a 4.91 40, pressed 23 reps of 225, had a 34.5" vertical and a 9'8" broad jump.