Philadelphia Eagles 2017 Draft Profile: Obi Melifonwu
- Height: 6’4”
- Weight: 219 lbs
- College: UConn
- NFL Grade*: 5.77
- Projected Round: 2nd round
- NFL comparison: George Iloka
As a freshman, Melifonwu redshirted.
His sophomore year, he started 12 games at free safety. He was named Freshman All-American Honorable Mention at 2013 american Athletic Conference All-Academic team.
In his junior year, Melifonwu started 11 games at free safety and was fourth on the team with 75 tackles.
His senior year he played in 13 games and started in 12 of them. He bumped up his game to being third on the team in total tackles.
In his last year at UConn, he was named first team All-American Athletic Conference and earned All=ECAC and All-New England honors. He led the team with 128 tackles and had a career-high 24 tackles in one game vs. Tulane. He also played in the 2017 Senior Bowl.
How Melifonwu Will Fit with Eagles
Melifonwu is an absolute monster of a player. His height advantage can matchup against even the taller receivers. His stature can be compared to the other taller cornerback in the league such as Sean Smith and Richard Sherman. However, Melifonwu is better than both of the latter at a very important attribute: athleticism.
At the combine, he posted top skills in the 40-yard dash, vertical jump and broad jump. He showed that he can press up at the line of scrimmage, and in the Jim Schwartz defense, press cornerbacks are a must. The Eagles did not have that last year in Leodis McKelvin and rarely with Nolan Carroll.
There have been disputes as to whether cornerback or running back are more important to draft. Both positions are loaded in the upcoming NFL Draft. However, the Eagles were not terrible in their running game this past season. This makes it seem like the lack of cornerback talent could be the more pressing issue.
The have been desperate for help at the cornerback position for a while now. With the addition of Melifonwu, the Eagles would be able to select maybe one or more defensive back while already having a potential starter on the roster.