DB Obi Melifonwu, Connecticut

6’4” – 224 lbs. – 4.40

Redshirted, then became the team’s starting free safety the following season, spending a total of four years as a starter. Also played a little bit of cornerback. Very tall, long, defensive back; has an ideal combination of height, weight, and length for the position. Deep safety who was asked to work in both zones and man coverage. Pretty fluid and controlled movements and sound technique, especially given his length. Has a smooth, balanced backpedal. Athletic testing suggests that he is very explosive in his lower body, but has just average ability to plant and drive on a spot on tape. Patient when making his reads, keeping the play in front of him; rarely needed to turn and run with opponents. Rangy in the deep halves, with the ability to reach the sidelines on targets downfield. Times his hits well to separate receivers from the ball. Appears to have solid ball skills, but usually goes with a conservative approach in coverage which takes him out of position to make plays on the ball; able to limit yards after the catch, but isn’t always in-phase when he’s targeted on a throw. Length allows him to play in press man in the slot; was usually asked to do that around the goal line. Might be athletic enough to press some bigger receivers at the pro level but looks likely to be used as more of a free safety. Willing to come up and support the run, with good effort and sound angles to the ball. However, has a slightly thin frame and is not particularly powerful; willing to get physical, but doesn’t really come down and play in the box on a regular basis. Capable of playing off of blocks in the screen game. Breaks down well in the open field; length gives him an impressive radius. Uses wrap tackling technique. Hard to get a feel for his blitzing ability because he wasn’t asked to handle those responsibilities very often. Had an incredible Combine performance including a 4.4-second forty-yard dash, forty-four inch vertical leap, and 141-inch broad jump, which many believe may have catapulted him into the first round of this year’s class; however, isn’t just a workout warrior, looking like a responsible, well-rounded free safety on tape, if a slightly conservative one. Some teams may not find his anticipatory skills sufficient to become a true playmaker at the next level, but should end up earning a starting role, which should be enough to earn him a selection within the first fifty picks.

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