Syracuse has two former defensive backs in the NFL Draft that are expected to go within the first three rounds at worst in Ifeatu Melifonwu and Andre Cisco. What is the upside for each at the next level? What type of player could each become? We spoke to former NFL head coach Jim Mora Jr. to find out.
"I think Iffy can become an elite defender," Mora Jr. said. "If he can learn route recognition, if he can figure out his eye discipline, if he can figure out that down the field they're not going to let him grab like they did in college, if he can keep that aggression he plays the run game with, I think, it's a tough one, but I think he can be an All Pro player. I really do. He's got elite traits, now he's just got to hone those traits. He's got to hone those things in. He'll get with an elite defensive back coach, and if he dedicates himself to working hard, to listening, to learning from other players, working on his weaknesses, he can be a great one in my opinion with the elite traits that he has."
"With Andre, I think he's going to have a really productive NFL career," Mora Jr. said. "He does everything well. Tackling concerns me but you can figure that out. He's not a bad tackler because he lacks courage. It's just his angles aren't always good. So the more he plays, the more he comes to understand the NFL game that's more of a passing league, the fact that he's a fearless run defender, a heat seeking missile. A guy that can make people hesitate when they try to catch the ball over the middle. Those are all great traits to have. So I think he's going to have a really solid career. He might start out as a special teams player, where he can have a tremendous impact. But he's a guy who I think will start in the league as a safety for sure."