One of the more interesting prospects in the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft is Connecticut safety Obi Melifonwu. If you follow the NFL Combine, you might remember him from his huge day in the "underwear Olympics."
Melifonwu was the top performer at his position in multiple events — the 40-yard dash, the vertical jump and the broad jump.
His 4.40-second 10-yard dash was the 10th-fastest time in the entire combine field, his 44.0-inch vertical was the best in the combine, as was his 141.0-inch broad jump.
Numbers like that immediately caught the eye of NFL scouts, as you'd expect, and Obi Melifonwu became a household, if hard to pronounce, name in NFL Draft circles.
NFL teams are clearly taking notice:
Connecticut safety Obi Melifonwu is taking a top 30 visit today with the Philadelphia Eagles, according to a league source
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) March 30, 2017
UConn S Obi Melifonwu currently visiting #Browns on top-30 visit, per source.
Not sure if it's out there or not. (Phone was in other room)
— Eric Edholm (@Eric_Edholm) April 7, 2017
The Obi Melifonwu American Tour had another stop today: UConn safety visiting #Saints, per source.
Has had incredibly busy travel schedule.
— Eric Edholm (@Eric_Edholm) April 10, 2017
Melifonwu closed his senior season with 73 solo and 118 total tackles, with four interceptions and three passes defended. For his career he totaled 224 solo tackles, 351 total tackles, 11 tackles for a loss, a pair of forced fumbles and fumble recoveries, 16 passes defended and eight interceptions.
Both Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay slot him the No. 34 overall selection, the second pick of the second round to the San Francisco 49ers, in their latest mock draft for ESPN.
He cracks the first round of the draft in Dane Brugler's mock draft for CBS Sports, coming in at the No. 19 selection to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Brugler says the Bucs like his versatility:
Tampa has shown plenty of interest in Melifonwu, a player who can wear several hats in the secondary. His tape wasn't nearly as impressive as his testing numbers, but teams can't teach his athletic skill set.
He's the 30th overall selection to the Pittsburgh Steelers in CBS Sports' Rob Rang's latest mock, and Rang said Melifonwu's athleticism shows up outside of the combine exercises.
Two years ago, it was former Husky Byron Jones who wowed scouts at the Combine with his sheer athleticism, earning a first round pick by Dallas. Melifonwu was one of this year's brightest stars in Indianapolis, producing a 4.40-second 40-yard dash, 44-inch vertical and 11-feet-3-inch broad jump at 6-4, 224 pounds. Better yet, Melifonwu's athleticism translates onto the field and the Steelers could use his range in the deep patrol.
Clearly, Melifonwu's combine numbers opened some eyes in the NFL world, but his game film has teams coming back for more.