And they say New England isn’t known for its football talent….
If you think that’s the case, then you clearly haven’t heard of/seen UConn defensive back Obi Melifonwu play. If you don’t know who the Grafton High grad is by now, you’re probably not following the combine much. The 6-foot-4 defensive back continues impressing–which is why he is a projected late first round/early second round pick.
Wednesday, he took another step in the right direction at Pro Day. Not to hop on the boat of “oh, the Patriots should get him!”–since they probably won’t (draft picks…)– but they did have two scouts watching him this week. There was also many other teams watching him.
Nearly 20 NFL teams here at UConn pro day this morning to see Grafton's Obi Melifonwu pic.twitter.com/MFRO5wRmj9
— Brendan C. Hall (@BHallESPN) March 22, 2017
Catching the ball at the high point. That’s what scouts want to see.
Simply put, the guy is a monster athlete. He had a 44-inch vertical leap and ran a 4.40 40-yard dash at the combine. He also did a bunch of agility drills there but as one of the least agile 175-pound football players there ever was, I have no idea what’s good and what’s not.
If you’re looking at his stats from senior year though, it’s worth noting he made 24 tackles against Tulane. He led his team with 128 tackles and four interceptions. He even made a trip to the Senior Bowl.
Being a bigger guy with that crazy athleticism, Melifonwu is a versatile defensive back who could fit into a lot of different schemes. There’s no reason he couldn’t play safety. There’s no reason he couldn’t play corner–in a cover 3 at least. There’s no reason he couldn’t play special teams. There’s no reason he couldn’t cover a tight end. Etc, etc, etc…
Oddly enough, UConn was the Grafton product’s lone D1 FBS offer coming out of high school. Also a star track athlete, he was a standout running back and defensive back in high school. He was even a quarterback his sophomore year so yeah, he’s a good athlete.
Not bad for a guy from the middle of nowhere in Mass.