Syracuse cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu is long, rangy, athletic, and physical, making him a toolsy prospect that is an ascending talent. At the next level, his best fit is as a zone corner where his length, ball skills, ability to read the backfield, and leverage routes shine. He is also an above-average run defender and can be relied upon to make tackles should his 2020 campaign be the norm moving forward. He does have some appeal in press-man coverage where his physicality, quick feet, and length are assets. While his ball production in college was modest, he has the potential to be very disruptive at the catch point in the NFL. The most notable room for Melifonwu to grow is in terms of his route anticipation skills and becoming a touch more consistent with coverage spacing. I would understand the idea that his best fit at the next level could come at safety or even as a big nickel that is somewhat of a positionless subpackage defender. Melifonwu has the potential to develop into a terrific starter as he becomes more consistent and solidifies his technique.
Ideal Role: Starting outside cornerback.
Scheme Fit: Zone.
Written by Joe Marino