Will Obi Melifonwu make the 53-man roster?
During the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders selected a very physically gifted athlete in UConn’s Obi Melifonwu. Unfortunately for the team, he did very little during his rookie season, as he battled injuries all season long, and ended up appearing in five games, while starting one.
The only start he made was against the New England Patriots, where the Raiders deployed him as a cornerback. That certainly is not where he should be at the NFL level, and the original hope was he and Karl Joseph would form the safety tandem for this team for years to come.
Heading into 2018, not only is Obi struggling to become a starter, but some have whispered whether or not he will be on the 53-man roster for Week 1. The Raiders have a bunch of players fighting for spots at safety, and if Melifonwu cannot stay on the field, then what good is he to the defense at this point.
Towards the end of OTAs, Melifonwu was back on the field, which was a great sign. He was in Coach Gruden’s doghouse for a bit, and will have to work his way out of there. For now, it looks like the Raiders will roll with Reggie Nelson and Karl Joseph on the first team, but that can all change beginning with mandatory minicamp on Tuesday.