After missing the first two preseason games, second-round pick in safety Obi Melifonwu got to play against the Cowboys. He had three total tackles against Dallas in his Raiders debut. With his roster spot locked up because he is a second-round pick out of UConn, we may not see a ton out of Melifonwu on Thursday night.
However, he may need a few more reps in this final preseason game to get ready for the Tennessee Titans in two weeks. Oakland is counting on this former UConn standout to help turn around the fortunes of this inconsistent defensive backfield.
Melifonwu is quick to the football, a sure tackler and has great vision of what’s going on in front of him. It may take a few games, but Melifonwu is the type of player that picks up things early in the process. Expect him to carve out a rotational role early in the season, pushing to start at some point mid-season.
What we’d be looking for out of him in this final preseason game against the Seahawks is to make a big-time stop or a key pass breakup. Though he had three tackles on Saturday, they largely went unnoticed. Even if he plays within the system, that would be fine, too. We just want to see Melifonwu keep playing for the Silver and Black.