During the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders selected Obi Melifonwu from UConn. Melifonwu was seen as a physical freak, and he was going to be given every opportunity to earn a starting spot in year one.
However, Obi could never stay on the field, as a hip injury eventually ended his season. He did make one start for the Raiders, starting at cornerback against the New England Patriots, in what would end up being defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr.’s last game in that role for the team.
This offseason, Melifonwu found himself in Coach Gruden’s doghouse, as the head coach did not know why Obi could not get on the field. When he did get on the field finally, he looked very good, although he was playing with the third team defense.
Obi has the physical gifts to be a very talented player in the NFL, but he has to prove he can stay on the field. The safety positions are up in the air heading into Napa, and if he can put a good month of practice together, he could find himself inching up the depth chart heading into August.