We’re less than a week away from the NFL Draft now, and there’s a whole lot of information that’s out there about who each team might be targeting or might be interested in.
Some of it may be true and some of it may be misdirection, but the Colts have reportedly “displayed steady interest” in UConn safety Obi Melifonwu, according to the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson.
Of course, the Colts are far from the only team to have interest in Melifonwu. Wilson reports that Melifonwu has “met with 14 NFL teams recently;” has had official visits with the Panthers, Lions, Buccaneers, Eagles, Cowboys, Saints, Browns, Steelers, Dolphins, Seahawks, Redskins, and 49ers; had a private workout for the Titans and the Bengals had interest in scheduling a private workout (Melifonwu’s schedule was packed); the Patriots visited him at UConn; 14 teams visited with him at the Senior Bowl and eleven teams met with him at the Combine (including the Colts); Vikings coach Mike Zimmer likes him; and the Colts, Ravens, and Raiders have “displayed steady interest.” That’s a lot of interest in the safety.
Melifonwu (6-4, 224 pounds) has been a steady riser during the draft process, and a terrific Combine performance certainly helped that. But he was a four-year starter at UConn, where he played in 48 career games and recorded 351 tackles, eleven tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, 16 passes defensed, and eight interceptions.
It will be quite interesting to see where Melifonwu winds up being drafted. He has emerged as a favorite among scouting types because of his athleticism and traits, and that could push him into the first round. So he’ll probably go somewhere either later on day one or early on day two, and both of those spots aren’t ideal for the Colts. They pick 15th overall, which might be a bit high for Melifonwu - but they don’t pick again until number 46 overall. So it will be interesting to see where Melifonwu winds up. The Colts do seem to be interested, however, and it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Colts are looking at defensive backs - especially in such a good safety class.