Four-year starter who earned First Team All-AAC honors in 2016 after finishing second in the conference with 118 tackles (2.5 for loss) and intercepting four passes, which tied for fifth in the AAC. Made 88 tackles (two for loss) with two interceptions and five pass breakups as a junior. Sophomore totals include 75 tackles (3.5 for loss) and three PBUs. Garnered Freshman All-American consideration after registering 70 tackles (three for loss), two interceptions, two forced fumbles and five pass breakups in 2013.
Tough, run-defending secondary prospect swiftly moving up draft boards. Athletic, moves well laterally and makes plays sideline-to-sideline. Quick flipping his hips transitioning off the line, easily stays step-for-step with opponents downfield and displays tremendous range. Shows good recognition in coverage. Quickly makes his way up the field defending the run and is a strong tackler. Hard hitter who viciously goes after ball handlers.
Displays a lot of inconsistency in every area of his game. Pulls up out of plays and does not show consistent physicality. Shows hesitation in coverage and mistimes pass defenses. Usually a half-step late arriving on the scene when the ball is in the air. Struggles making plays with his back to the ball in man-coverage situations.
Melifonwu is a defensive prospect who possesses the computer numbers to start at a variety of positions on Sunday and occasionally plays to those numbers. Against opponents such as Houston, he was a dominant factor and looked like a man against boys. Yet at other times, such as the South Florida game, he looked passive and as though he’s going half-speed. Melifonwu comes with tremendous upside potential but is a prospect who may need a kick in the rear to get jumpstarted and stay on his game. He possesses Pro Bowl potential at the next level but at the same time could be a huge bust and non-factor.