You may recall that Melifonwu was one of the few veterans invited to Eagles rookie minicamp, which took place in mid-May, on a tryout basis. He remained unsigned until now.
Melifonwu, 27, boasts an elite athletic profile. He’s very tall and athletic for NFL defensive back standards. The then-Oakland Raiders were once so intrigued by him that they selected him with a second-round pick (No. 56 overall) in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Waived by the #Raiders, Obi Melifonwu is a good example of a player who has traits for days. Whether it's his injuries, his play, or supposedly not loving football enough, teams very rarely give up on a player with this kind of profile this quickly. pic.twitter.com/F9tY3mk0XY— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) August 23, 2018
Melifonwu’s ‘potential’ clearly failed to materialize. Injuries plagued him in his rookie season, limiting him to just five games. The Raiders ultimately gave up on him in November 2018. Melifonwu found a new home with the New England Patriots but only appeared in two games with them before they released him in April 2020. Melifonwu then spent just three months on the San Francisco 49ers’ offseason roster last year.
Given Melifonwu’s struggles to catch on in the NFL thus far, it’s only fair to wonder if he’s merely a camp body for the Eagles. Perhaps a position change could help him, though? The Eagles notably had him listed at cornerback instead of safety during their aforementioned rookie minicamp practices.
Melifonwu seems worth a look. There are worse ways to spend 90-man roster spots in training camp.