Obi Melifonwu – Safety – Connecticut AAC
DOB – 05 Apr 1994
Height – 6’4
Weight – 224 lbs
You can’t teach size nor speed. Melifonwu has them both. A four year starter at Connecticut Obi has improved each year. A downhill, inside the box, tackling machine the talented safety is no slouch when it comes to ball hawking either tabbing six interceptions over the last two years. Having experience at CB is never a bad thing and Obi uses his size and wing span to deny tight ends up the seam. A thumper who sees the game in front of him very well.
Not a natural cornerback. Plays best with the game in front of him. Though he has the speed doesn’t take the best angles when the play moves behind him which allows deep balls up the sideline to get away from him. Conversely he takes excellent angles when he is closing in front. Has better run-thumper instincts than pass coverage skills. Gets caught thinking in the passing game. Plays slower than his timed speed.
The Seattle Seahawks had their eyes glued to Obi during the combine and the comparisons are obvious with what the ‘Hawks want for their defensive backfield. The rest of the NFL has caught on however to the newer template at DB which puts plenty of teams in competition with Seattle who want to add this chess piece to their own boards. In a classic case of expectation management teams expecting a ball-hawking safety will probably be disappointed. Though his metrics scream free safety with sideline-to-sideline range in reality Melifonwu has been at his best when filling the roll of downhill-inside-the-box-safety. A high ceiling and floor this DB is climbing draft boards and will probably settle in somewhere at the bottom of the first round, top of the second.
What say you Sports Nation?
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