After only one full season in the NFL, the Oakland Raiders have decided to cut safety Obi Melifonwu.
The Cleveland Browns were busy this off-season adding talent to their secondary. During training camp, they have looked at the possibility of adding more players to the unit. But could they take a look at a recently released safety?
Henry-William Obiajulu Melifonwu, in addition to being a mouthful, is one of the lankiest, most freakish safeties the NFL has ever seen. And yet, the Oakland Raiders have seen fit to cut him under the new management of Jon Gruden.
First reported by the Raiders themselves, and then commented on by NFL reporter Ian Rapoport, this cut comes as a shock to many.
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The Melifonwu cut begs the question: is another team going to take a chance and pick him up? He’s not exactly a problem child, he may just have issues committing to the game, and the lifestyle it presents to him. Along the same lines, should the Browns give the former University of Connecticut standout a look at safety?
The Cleveland Browns have no shortage of cornerbacks with Denzel Ward, T.J. Carrie, and E.J. Gaines on the roster, among others. However, their safety positions are just not as deep. Beyond Jabrill Peppers, Damarious Randall, and maybe Derrick Kindred, the Browns’ safety depth is one of the team’s weakest aspects. Certainly, there could be a fit for someone of Melifonwu’s athleticism.
It bears repeating that in addition to being a 6-foot-4, 224-pound specimen at safety, Melifonwu is a freak of nature when it comes to athleticism. He lit up the 2017 NFL Combine, showcasing his insane speed (4.40-second 40-yard dash) and jumping ability (141-inch broad jump, 44-inch vertical) for scouts everywhere. Aside from John Ross, who of course ran the fastest-ever recorded 40-yard dash, Melifonwu was the talk of the Combine.
Then again, if it is true that Melifonwu does not love football, the Browns cannot and should not force themselves to sign him. His athleticism is off the charts, and his upside as a prospect is otherworldly, but if his heart is not in it, Obi Melifonwu should not be an option for the Cleveland Browns. Tread lightly, NFL teams, as whoever signs Melifonwu could be getting a boom or bust prospect.