Melifonwu, the 56th pick, went to the Raiders on the heels of a stellar four-year career at Connecticut, where he tallied eight interceptions. Four of those picks came last year for Melifonwu, who also notched a personal-best 118 tackles. There are some questions about Melifonwu’s instincts, but the 6-foot-4, 224-pounder should be effective around the line of scrimmage, per NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein, who likens him to the Bengals’ George Iloka.
With Melifonwu in the fold, every rookie from the second round down in the 2017 draft has now been signed to a contract. The only unsigned rookies left are 49ers defensive end Solomon Thomas, Titans wide receiver Corey Davis, and one of Melifonwu’s soon-to-be Raiders teammates, cornerback Gareon Conley. The Raiders’ hope is that he and Melifonwu will immediately boost a defense that finished just 25th in DVOA against the pass last year.
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