Instant analysis: Eagles sign former Raiders Safety Obi Melifonwu

Dolphins vs patriots
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – NOVEMBER 25: New England Patriots defensive back Obi Melifonwu (22) during the National Football League game between the New England Patriots and the New York Jets on November 25, 2018 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

According to Adam Schefter, the Philadelphia Eagles have signed former Raiders safety Obi Melifonwu.

This comes on the back of a tricky day at the office for Howie Roseman on Wednesday. Rodney McLeod was forced to start the year on the PUP list and Anthony Harris was initially placed on the COVID/reserve list. This meant a lot of early exposure for guys like K’Von Wallace, but with only a few more names on the depth chart, it made sense to bring someone in.

it wasn’t so long ago that Obi’s younger brother, Ifeatu, was being linked to the team. Instead, it’s the former second-round pick who will be flying to Philadelphia. Drafted by the Raiders back in 2017, Melifonwu was immediately plagued by injuries, causing him to play in only five games as a rookie.

The Raiders would surprisingly cut him one year later and he promptly landed on New England’s practice squad, where he would be elevated from for a pair of games, and spend the rest of the year on the 10-man unit. The Pats then released Melifonwu, who didn’t sign with a team during 2020. A brief offseason stint with the Niners followed, but he was waived not too long ago, land hasn’t been able to find a permanent home since, eading Howie Roseman to pick up the phone.

Melifonwu does bring a salivating skillset to the table. He’s another player who has incredible athletic traits but lacks the experience and production to be regarded as a key component. At 6’4, he brings a 4.4 second 40-yard-dash to the table along with a giant 44-inch vertical and 11’9 inch broad jump. Now 27-years-old, he should be entering the prime of his career, but only is still looking to really find a way to get it started, with only 10 tackles in 7 games since entering the league.

For now, Melifonwu will be a player to keep an eye on. We know the Eagles have an affinity for players with freakishly athletic traits and in theory, if they can be harnessed, Obi Melifonwu would be a menace in the defensive backfield. It’s going to be down to Jonathan Gannon and Dennard Wilson to get him up to speed and see if he has enough upside to warrant a full-time roster spot.

Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire