One of the more overlooked players in the Detroit Lions draft class has been cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu, but as the offseason progresses, that’s going to be less and less of the case.
Melifonwu was seen to be one of the bigger potential steals of the draft class when the Lions nabbed him late in the third round this year, and thus far, he has begun to live up to that potential given how impressive he has looked at times on the field working out.
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Recently, Melifonwu was putting in some extra work this summer ahead of Lions training camp beginning, and he showed off some very impressive size as well as moves when he was grinding on the field.
Here’s a look:
These clips, no matter how brief, show just what kind of player Melifonwu could be for the Lions. He’s got the size teams covet at cornerback now as the ability to stay with opposing receivers. As the NFL has changed, this has become the ideal archetype in the defensive backfield, meaning Melifonwu could be poised to make a big impact quickly.
If that happens fast, his maturity and extra work could be to thank.
Melifonwu Looks Majorly Athletic
The Lions scored a player in Melifonwu who has some impressive numbers and is an athlete much in the vein of their other two selections. At 6-2 with a 4.48 40 yard dash as well as a 41.5″ vertical and a 11’2″ broad jump, it would be hard-pressed to find a player that does more to prove that. Next Gen Stats even had him ranked as a 99 athleticism score.
Detroit needs help in their secondary, so getting a player like Melifonwu who has the athletic tools could only help in the end in terms of his potential. He is the kind of player who could dominate in a big way once he gets into the league and shows his stuff.
Melifonwu Stats and Highlights
If the last name sounds familiar to fans, that’s because Ifeatu’s brother Obi Melifonwu played in the NFL recently as well. The older Melifonwu didn’t have nearly as much success, but that doesn’t mean the younger one can’t be great. Melifonwu has solid size at 6-3 and is the type of player who can be a better cornerback than some of the options that may go higher than him in the NFL Draft. In college, he put up 88 tackles, 3 interceptions, 19 passes defended and 1 sack. Melifowu might end up being one of the better cornerbacks that comes out of this draft process, and the Lions hope they will look smart to have nabbed him given their major needs at cornerback.
Here’s a look at some of Melifonwu’s best highlights:
The clips do show a player who has plenty of ability and could even play a starring role in the future for the Lions if he is able to put this training to good use on the field.