The 2021 NFL Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. Here is the Ifeatu Melifonwu 2021 NFL Draft Profile.
Ifeatu Melifonwu Background
Size: 6-foot-3, 205 pounds
Class: Redshirt Junior
2020 stats: 54 total tackles, 1 interception, 6 passes defended
In his three seasons on the field for Syracue, Melifonwu consistently improved his game. Now, he has declared for the 2021 NFL Draft following his redshirt junior season.
Melifonwu played running back, receiver and defensive back in high school, coming out as a four-star prospect. He signed on with Syracuse and redshirted his first year on campus. In his redshirt freshman season, Melifonwu saw some playing time and had 14 total tackles and six passes defended. In 2019, Melifonwu registered 20 total tackles, two interceptions and seven passes defended. The Orange went 5-7 that season. For the 2020 season, Melifonwu had a great campaign with 54 total tackles, one interception and six passes defended. Despite him playing well, Syracuse won just one game in 2020.
After improving over his collegiate career, Melifonwu is prepping for the NFL. He is currently projected to be a first or second round pick.
Melifonwu has great size, height and length for a cornerback prospect. He stands 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, which is bigger than most NFL corners. This allows him to match up with bigger receivers and to disrupt them with his long arms, both down the field and in press coverage. His arms measure in at 32.25-inches.
His speed and athleticism are good, especially for a player of his size. He is able to keep up with speedy receivers when they try to beat him down the field. To go with his speed, he has solid body control and can jump very well, giving him a solid catch-radius going up against wide receivers. In zone coverage, he has solid range.
He is a solid tackler who demonstrates good form. After a receiver catches the ball, he is quick to close down on them. He hits them, wraps them up and brings them to the ground. Not only does he have great form, he can hit hard as well.
Melifonwu doesn’t have the easiest time changing directions. When he ends up losing a man, it is usually due to sharp cuts in their routes. He doesn’t have the most fluid hips, which makes it tough to keep up with more agile receivers. His ability to be solid in man coverage is still there, but his trouble changing direction does hurt him.
His awareness and instincts need some work. There are times when he loses his man or the ball. He also doesn’t fully understand how an offense or wide receiver is going to attack him. His physical talent is there, but if he wants to be a good corner in the NFL, he’ll have to work on his ability to read what an offense is doing.
He does have some injuries over his career. Melifonwu missed time in both the 2018 and 2019 seasons for the Orange. The injuries concerned his ankle and hamstring, so he should be fine, but doctors will need to check him out. He played all 10 games in 2020 and will need to prove he can play a full 16-game season.
Projected Draft Range: First Round-Second Round
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