Before this weekend’s Senior Bowl, we mentioned that Syracuse Orange cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu had a big opportunity to improve his NFL Draft stock. We’ll see over the coming weeks and months whether that was the case, but he did seems to impress throughout practice and the game.
Melifonwu managed two pass breakups and three tackles on the day, which is not bad at all given the format of the game. For the past two seasons, Iffy was around the top 10-15 in the ACC in defended passes per contest. The fact that he was able to log two here in an all-star game format is a great sign — and one that bolsters his reputation as a solid cover man. In all, he allowed three catches (for 31 yards) on seven targets, per PFF.
You can see one nice play he made during the game below, managing to take away what would’ve been a long completion.
Ifeatu Melifonwu making plays early in the Senior Bowl pic.twitter.com/Qw2sWMp78F— Mike McAllister (@McAllisterMike1) January 30, 2021
Mike McAllister also spoke with NFL Draft Bible’s Alex Pulido about Melifonwu’s week leading up to the Senior Bowl and how he performed. There are some good videos from practice in the piece that highlight both what he did well in Senior Bowl prep and the excellent play we saw regularly while with the Orange.
As of now, Iffy could get himself a first ground grade according to mocks, but most likely appears to be in a second through sixth round conversation. Obviously getting drafted is awesome wherever it may be. But the sooner he goes, the more likely he’s making a roster AND the better sales pitch it serves as for Syracuse as they attempt to continue attracting top defensive backs to the program.
Melifonwu could be one of three Orange DBs drafted this year, along with Andre Cisco and Trill Williams. Trill actually just received his invite to the NFL Scouting Combine on Friday, so that bodes well for him, too.