Pittsburgh is in need a pass rusher, but could hold off on one facing such a deep class. Melifonwu offers much versatility and athleticism on the back end and the Steelers are scheduled to bring the Uconn product in for a visit.
6′ 4″ 224lbs
What’s to like: Long, built, NFL-caliber frame. Beyond athletic, blew up the combine to prove it. A very reliable tackler, wraps up well. Takes good angles to the ball carrier. Extremely versatile: can play single high, in the box, cornerback. Quick pursuit once the ball is in the air. Fills running lanes with authority. Has great range, covers a ton of ground and can be a true center fielder. Uses his length to keep his body from engaging blockers to get off blocks. Would be a match-up nightmare for tight ends. A very productive tackler.
Concerns: Takes a bit too long to diagnose plays. Seems like he doesn’t play at full speed. May need to add some muscle on, strength is a minor concern when he tackles high. Tackles too high on bigger guys, needs to put his force into the opponent lower. Instincts aren’t as sharp as hoped.
Verdict: A rangey free safety who can play multiple positions on the Steelers defense until Mike Mitchell’s time in Pittsburgh comes to an end. A combine darling but has the tape to back up his hype. An athletic chess piece that could alter and transform what the Steelers defense offers on Sundays.
2016 Stats: 118 tackles (73 solo), 2.5 TFL, 4 INT, 3 PBU, 1 FR
Grade: Late 1st-Early 2nd
Games watched: South Florida 2016, Virginia 2016, Cincinnati 2016, Houston 2016
Stats courtesy: Sports-Reference
Photo courtesy: NHRegister
Video courtesy: DraftBreakdown.com