Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Connecticut safety Obi Melifonwu visiting with 49ers

Apr 18, 2017 at 3:39 PM--

Connecticut safety Obi Melifonwu is visiting with the San Francisco 49ers on Tuesday, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

Melifonwu has started all four years for the Huskies. The 6-foot-4 and 223-pound safety redshirted his first year at UConn and became the team's starting free safety in 2013 when he had 70 tackles, three for a loss, two interceptions, five passes defended, and two forced fumbles. He started 11 games in 2014 and then 12 games as a junior. Melifonwu, who was a first-team All-American Athletic Conference selection in 2016, led his team in tackles (118) and interceptions (4) last year.

Melifonwu had an impressive showing at the NFL Scouting Combine. He had the best broad jump and vertical leap among the participants and ran the 40-yard dash faster than any safety in attendance.

"Everybody knew I was athletic, but I don't think they knew how athletic I was," Melifonwu told the Chicago Sun-Times on Saturday. "When I went to the combine, I definitely had them check that off the box."

Pro Football Focus stats to know: Finished 2016 ninth in run-stop percentage and 17th in tackling efficiency among FBS safeties.

Lance Zierlein of NFL Media, who compares Melifonwu to George Iloka, had the following to say in his scouting report:

"Big and athletic, he may lack the coverage qualities and instincts needed to work as a "last line of defense" player in a pass-happy division. Melifonwu is an effective downhill tackler who has the ability to match up against tight ends and make a living near the line of scrimmage. His football instincts aren't up to par, but the size and traits will be extremely enticing for teams who covet traits first."

Tony Pauline of Draft Analyst had the following to say in his scouting report:

"Melifonwu is a defensive prospect who possesses the computer numbers to start at a variety of positions on Sunday and occasionally plays to those numbers. Against opponents such as Houston, he was a dominant factor and looked like a man against boys. Yet at other times, such as the South Florida game, he looked passive and as though he's going half-speed. Melifonwu comes with tremendous upside potential but is a prospect who may need a kick in the rear to get jumpstarted and stay on his game. He possesses Pro Bowl potential at the next level but at the same time could be a huge bust and non-factor."

Pro Football Focus had the following to say in their draft analysis:

"At 6-foot-4 and 223 pounds, Melifonwu flashes the all-around athleticism uncommonly seen for a man his size. While he is certainly capable of covering the deep third, and displays the range and ball skills to close and make plays to the boundary with consistency, he is capable of making a bigger impact at the next level the closer he is to the line of scrimmage. His physicality is on display in man coverage, where he is not afraid to punch his man off the line of scrimmage and at the break point in order to stay on his hip. This makes him an intriguing matchup option against tight ends, which the league should view as his greatest area of upside. With such a rare combination of size and athleticism as well as the ability to tackle well in space, Melifonwu is possibly the most complete safety prospect in this draft class outside of LSU's Jamal Adams, and is worth a top pick, particularly for teams coveting a classic strong safety."


Height: 6-4
Weight: 224 lbs.
Arm length: 32 1/2 inches
Hand length: 9 1/8 inches

NFL Scouting Combine

40-time: 4.40 seconds
Vertical: 44 inches
Broad jump: 141 inches
Bench press: 17 reps

College Statistics

Year G Tkl PD Int Yds
2012 12 70 5 2 15
2013 11 75 3 0 0
2014 13 88 5 2 16
2016 12 118 3 4 6
Totals 48 351 16 8 37

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