Tampa Bay Buccaneers

5 Things to Know About Obi Melifonwu

A few interesting facts about the Connecticut safety.

Some of the top shots of Connecticut's Obi Melifonwu.

1. He crushed the NFL Combine.
If there was one player who dramatically increased his stock at the NFL Scouting Combine, it was Melifonwu. He was the top performer across all positions in both the broad jump and the vertical jump, recording a broad jump five inches further than any other player. He also ran the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds, which placed him among the 10-fastest players at the Combine.

2. He's one of the bigger safeties in the draft.
Safety is an interesting position – there smaller players who can thrive, like Tyrann Mathieu, but there are also bigger players like Kam Chancellor who are just as efficient. When Melifonwu gets drafted, he'll be one of the biggest safeties in the league. He's 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds. His size is that much more interesting given the athleticism he displayed at the Combine.

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  1. He was a four-year starter.**
    Melifonwu was a full-time starter for all four seasons he was at UConn and progressively got better and better each season. His total tackles went up each year, culminating in a 118-tackle performance as a senior. He also recorded a career-high four interceptions in 2016. Heading into his final season, he has just four interceptions in his first three years.

4. He was a dominant running back in high school.
Melifonwu's primary position in high school was running back, and he proved to be one of the best in New England. He rushed for 1,394 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior and was selected to ESPN Boston's All-State team. Melifonwu was also a successful long-jumper in high school.

5. He was not a highly-recruiter prospect.
Some players in this year's draft class were No. 1 in the country at their respective position, while others may have had just one or two scholarship offers. Melifonwu was a three-star recruit, according to Rivals.com, and had interest from Boston College, Fordham, Holy Cross, Rhode Island and Temple before ultimately signing with UConn.

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