Obi Melifonwu Scout Report
Obi Melifonwu. The British safety from UCONN is next on my scout report thanks to rumours that Pete Carroll was blown away by this man at the combine so we're going to see if his combine performance matches his college career. It's also worth mentioning I've seen some Hawks fans unhappy with us being linked with the Brit but I wanted to see some tape for myself before jumping into any conclusions.
Obi Melifonwu is a 6ft4 224lb safety from UCONN that absolutely killed it at the combine. During his last college season he played 13 games racking up a total of 118 tackles (73 solo and 45 assist) with 6 of them being for loss, he also had 3 pass break ups and 4 interceptions. Not bad. Over the course of his college career he played a total of 48 games, had a total of 349 tackles (222 solo and 128 assist) with 11 of those being for loss. He also had 18 pass deflections and 8 interceptions. Those are some impressive stats specially because he seems to fit the Seahawks mold of a high tackling player with hard hitting ability and long arms.
This is what got Pete Carroll on the Melifonwu hype train. He ran a 4.40, had a great vertical jump and a tremendous broad jump ala Seahawks style!
After watching some tape on Obi Melifonwu I do have to say that he seems like a raw prospect. He's definitely interesting due to his great athletic ability but I question his football instincts.
Strengths : massive athlete, a total stud that hits hard and doesn't let the opponent go once he has his hands on them, shows good anticipation and reads plays well, seems to always be the first one to make the tackle. Can match up well with tight ends and play everywhere on the field, being a former corner he has a good route knowledge and vision, also thanks to his height and speed he can break up several passes and get a few interceptions. Also acoording to NFL.com he drastically reduced his penalty totals in the past few seasons.
Weaknesses: doesn't have the explosive speed to rush the quarterback. Could barely see any coverage skills so I'm unsure how good he is on that department. Takes longer routes to go where he needs to be causing him to be too late every once in a while, sometimes doesn't read the pass as fast as should and fails to stay very balanced when he needs to turn and sprint. Also think he lacks a bit of football instincts because it seems that he always needs to have the ball in the air to recognise where it's going to go.
Some examples (pictures) :
Lined up as a strong safety
Lined up as a free safety
Lined up in a single high safety
Lined up with the defensive ends trying to pressure the QB
Lined up as a slot corner
Tape confirmed the stats. Obi is a great tackler.
A great pass deflection that got called as PI..
I really liked this play. Both corners have their man covered until one of the wide receivers just gets enough separation from the corner, the pass is wonderfully thrown by the QB but thanks to Obi laying the boom on the WR the pass is incomplete.
Obi hasn't gotten a sack in his career yet but he's been close.
He let's up a huge completion. Not totally his fault as it seems he was marking another player but as a safety it's never good to give up a huge competition down the middle.
Bad pass but good field positioning to get the interception.
Cuts the reviver's route and gets the interception in the end zone.
Same style of play. He cuts the route and gets another end zone interception.
Overall I think Melifonwu could be a decent pick up for any team. Despite his first round buzz I think he's a mid second round talent because despite the huge physical ability he still has a lot of things to work out on his game, thankfully most of them seem to be fixable and come with time so I believe he'll do well in the league. He's a bit of a unique safety as he's a hard hitter with decent coverage skills but don't expect him to blow up offensive linemen like Kam does, he's a whole different especiment. Oh, that! Some people compare Obi to Kam Chancellor and I can see why but I don't really agree with it, maybe in three seasons or so when he's more mature but right now Obi is his own self, a safety with great athletic ability, good tackling and decent coverage skills. I do believe he would benefit from being in Pete Carroll's system but I wouldn't take him over Keving King.
So, that's it! What do you think? Agree with me? Disagree ? Let me know ! @ me on twitter on either @Peter1678 or @NFLPeter
PS - After Cam Robinson's scout report all the players I'll be writing about are an extra. I set out to scout a small group of guys but since I finished early and there's still time till the draft I'll be doing a few more! It makes me very happy I managed to do the guys on my inicial list and whoever else I manage to do. Thank you everyone that takes their time to read this and give me feedback! Couldn't have done it without you. Keep grinding.