Buffalo Bills 2021 NFL Draft Prospect to Know: CB Ifeatu Melifonwu

MOBILE, AL - JANUARY 30: Defensive Back Ifeatu Melifonwu#8 from Syracuse of the American Team during the 2021 Resse's Senior Bowl at Hancock Whitney Stadium on the campus of the University of South Alabama on January 30, 2021 in Mobile, Alabama. The National Team defeated the American Team 27-24. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
MOBILE, AL - JANUARY 30: Defensive Back Ifeatu Melifonwu#8 from Syracuse of the American Team during the 2021 Resse's Senior Bowl at Hancock Whitney Stadium on the campus of the University of South Alabama on January 30, 2021 in Mobile, Alabama. The National Team defeated the American Team 27-24. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) /
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As the Buffalo Bills look closer at the prospects at cornerback, one that played close to Western New York that could be a good fit is Ifeatu Melifonwu. He played for the University of Syracuse and appears to be a great fit for the Bills’ defense. Let’s take a look at his profile and how he could impact this defense with the Bills.

Measurables/Stats

Height: 6’2″

Weight: 205 pounds

Arms: 32.25″

Hands: 8.875″

Ifeatu Melifonwu played 23 games over three seasons for the Syracuse Orange. He finished with 88 total tackles, five tackles for a loss, one sack, three interceptions and 19 passes defended. This past season he had a season-high in tackles with 54, tackles for a loss with three and the only sack during his collegiate career.

NFL.com Scouting Report by Lance Zierlein

"His length, strength and athleticism help him blanket and smother targets underneath when he’s tighter to receivers off the snap. However, he allows excessive cushion from off-man and doesn’t play with the instincts or recognition to stop quarterbacks and receivers from playing catch in front of his face. He’s a physical, aggressive striker who ends the catch quickly as a tackler and should develop into a plus defender."

Highlights

How he fits with the Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills run a zone defense and Ifeatu Melifonwu is a prototypical corner in terms of measurables that the coaching staff would want for this defensive scheme. He has good size at 6’2″ and wouldn’t be overmatched on the outside against wide receivers. Melifonwu would be able to come in and compete for the starting job opposite Tre’Davious White with players like Levi Wallace and Dane Jackson.

The one concern with Melifonwu is the lack of interceptions and turnovers during Syracuse. In this defense, with White on the other side, opposing quarterbacks are likely to target him frequently. The Buffalo Bills could look for a player who excels in forcing interceptions and creating those momentum shifting plays.

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The question is where Melifonwu might go in the 2021 NFL Draft as he has been projected as high as the back end of the first round, which is where the Buffalo Bills currently sit. However, with how deep the position is, it doesn’t necessarily make sense to use the 30th overall pick on the Syracuse corner. If he was there in the second, this would likely be the ideal spot in terms of value and what he could bring.