The Las Vegas Raiders reportedly have expressed interest in free-agent cornerback Richard Sherman.
Sherman is known for the size he brings to the position, and whether the Raiders sign him or not, they could draft a corner that’s a spitting image of him, Ifeatu Melifonwu.
Coming out of Syracuse, Melifonwu brings rare physical tools to the cornerback position.
At 6-3 and 213 pounds, Melifonwu has the kind of size and length to leave scouts in awe of his physical potential.
He used that effect well in his final year for the Orange, being ranked by Pro Football Focus as the 26th best cornerback in the country last season.
Melifonwu's length gives him a lot of room for error when he’s in coverage, as he can easily alter a receiver’s catch point.
He doesn’t lack for explosiveness either, even for a corner of his size.
Melifonwu is capable of going stride for stride with receivers, and scouts also note that he’s very fluid in his hips, which makes him able to have smooth transitions.
When it comes to flaws, maybe the most surprising is that scouts haven’t seen Melifonwu use his size as a way to bully wideouts.
They note he often gets by on his athletic gifts, and that whatever team that takes Melifonwu would need to coach that physical mentality into him.
Teams might also be concerned by the lack of experience Melifonwu has played in press coverage, as he has recorded only 183 press snaps the last two years.
One thing is for certain: Melifonwu is very much a physical freak. There just aren’t many defensive backs that have the same kind of tools.
Those tools do need refinement, and with new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s history of coaching great defensive backs, the Raiders could be the team that does it.
Not to mention that when it comes to instilling a bully-like mentality on the field, there may not be a better team suited for that than the Silver and Black.
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