Five quick thoughts about Raiders draft pick Obi Melifanwu

Five quick thoughts about Raiders draft pick Obi Melifanwu

The Oakland Raiders have selected Obi Melifanwu with the 56th pick of the 2017 NFL Draft.

Melifanwu will immediately help Oakland with their secondary, something that is clearly a focus for them early in this draft. But we will get more into how Melifanwu fits with the Raiders when we take a deep dive into his impact with our in depth coverage tomorrow morning. For now, here’s a look at five quick facts about Melifanwu that will give you some insight into the newest member of the Raiders:

  • Melifanwu was a guy that many thought might creep up into the first round after a really strong showing at the NFL Combine. As it turns out, he didn’t climb draft boards as much as some thought, but the impressiveness of his combine performance remains.

  • Seen by many to have elite traits when it comes to size and athleticism but is underwhelming when it comes to polish and technique. He’s a bit of a project which is in line with how Reggie McKenzie drafts in the second round. He’s similar to guys like Jihad Ward and Mario Edwards, Jr. who showed more in terms of potential than production.

  • Immediately, this has to call into question Reggie Nelson‘s starting job. Melifanwu is more of a free safety but regardless of what position the Raiders use him at, you know it’s Nelson’s playing time that Melifanwu is coming after, not Karl Joseph‘s.

  • Though he played safety in college, there has been talk of him lining up at everywhere from safety to corner and even to linebacker. He’s truly a physical specimen but a very raw one. The plus side is that he has potential to be elite, the downside is that the Raiders will need to develop him.

  • Melifanwu was a running back in high school and was named to an All-Boston area team at the position. Just goes to show how his athleticism allows him to be good at a lot of things. I don’t imagine him being used on offense or special teams the way an Adoree Jackson would be used, but I can see him being used all over the defense.

In the first round, the Raiders selected a guy who when it comes to on the field considerations, is a very safe pick. Gareon Conley has very little bust potential, even if he also doesn’t have a ton of potential to be elite. Meanwhile, Melifanwu has some bust potential, but his ceiling might be one of the highest in the draft.

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