Houston Texans Draft: Ifeatu Melifonwu could learn under veterans in ’21

Syracuse Orange defensive back Ifeatu Melifonwu (23) Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Syracuse Orange defensive back Ifeatu Melifonwu (23) Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports /
Ifeatu Melifonwu, Houston Texans
Syracuse Orange defensive back Ifeatu Melifonwu (23) Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports /

The Houston Texans have some talented veterans on contract at cornerback for the 2021 season, but this team needs to think long-term, and that is where the 2021 NFL Draft comes into play. With the 67th overall selection of the draft, the Texans could select a cornerback, and the newest member of the secondary could be Ifeatu Melifonwu of Syracuse.

It is said that Melifonwu’s biggest strength is the “rare physical tools” he possesses, but on the other hand, it is said by PFF that his biggest weakness is “playing physical.” Maybe one of the favorite things about Melifonwu is his size as he’s 6’3” and weighs 213 pounds. A member of the Syracuse secondary in 2020 Melifonwu’s PFF grade was 78.8, and in all three seasons his overall grade never dropped below 72.0 for a single season.

In three collegiate seasons, Melifonwu also never allowed over 400 yards receiving in a season, and he collected three interceptions in that same time frame, with one interception in ’20 and two interceptions in ’19.

Another stat that would be helpful to Melifonwu in his NFL career is he forced seven incompletions in ’20, but also he did have nine missed tackles, which is an aspect of the defense the Texans are working on improving in ’21.

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All of that said, drafting Melifonwu at 67th overall isn’t a reach, and it would be good for the Houston Texans to select a player who they could have play some in ’21, but also learn from veteran players such as Bradley Roby, Desmond King II, Vernon Hargreaves and others as a rookie, but still garner some playing time along the way.

Houston Texans Draft: Time for franchise to build for the future

With all of the offseason situations surrounding coaching changes, new front office members and everything going on with Deshaun Watson in trade talks and off-the-field issues, the Houston Texans need to take a step back, relax and keep working on rebuilding this roster.

The Houston Texans most likely won’t be contenders for the AFC South in ’21, but they can work on the rebuild with younger players whom they can teach and work with in ’21 to prepare better for future seasons.

For example, Melifonwu would be great to have play in game situations at which he could excel at for his rookie season, and while doing that, take the knowledge from not only veteran players on the roster, but from defensive coordinator Lovie Smith, and work on improving aspects of his game that will make him a better player in the league.

Who exactly knows what the Houston Texans front office is thinking when it comes to the NFL Draft, and it is still uncertain whether the Texans will be drafting for the first time when the 67th pick goes on the clock.

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Some way, somehow, the Texans will eventually make a draft choice, and if it isn’t until the third round, and if Ifeatu Melifonwu of Syracuse is still on the board, he must be a strong consideration for the future of the franchise. It has been proven many times that defense wins championships, and those rosters have been built through the middle of the NFL Draft.