Henry-William Obiajulu Melifonwu (born April 5, 1994) is an American football safety for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Connecticut. He was originally selected in the 2017 NFL draft by the Oakland Raiders.
|No. 22 – New England Patriots|
|Born:||April 5, 1994|
|Height:||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Weight:||224 lb (102 kg)|
|NFL Draft:||2017 / Round: 2 / Pick: 56|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of Week 15, 2018|
Henry William Obiajulu Melifonwu was born in London on April 5, 1994. His parents are Igbo Nigerians who moved to England. At age 3, Melifonwu's family moved to the USA. His middle name, Obiajulu, means 'consoled heart'. He has one older brother Michael and two younger brothers, Nonso and Ifeatu.
Melifonwu attended Grafton High School in Grafton, Massachusetts. He played defensive back, quarterback and running back. As a senior, he rushed for 1,394 yards with 17 touchdowns. Melifonwu committed to the University of Connecticut to play college football.
Melifonwu redshirted his first year at Connecticut in 2012. As a redshirt freshman in 2013, he started all 12 games and had 70 tackles and two interceptions. As a redshirt sophomore in 2014, he started 11 games, recording 75 tackles. As a redshirt junior in 2015, he started 12 of 13 games and had 88 tackles and two interceptions. As a senior in 2016, he started all 13 games and recorded 118 tackles and four interceptions.
Melifonwu received an invitation to the Senior Bowl and made three combined tackles as a part of the North who lost 16-15 to the South. He was able to raise his draft stock after performing well during the Senior Bowl practices. Melifonwu attended the NFL Combine and completed the majority of combine and positional drills, but decided to skip the three-cone drill and short shuttle. He had impressive performances in the vertical jump, broad jump, and 40-yard dash that further raised his draft stock. He also participated at Connecticut's Pro Day and completed the short shuttle, three-cone drill, and positional drills in front of 25 NFL scouts from 20 NFL teams. His numbers in the short shuttle and three-cone drill would've ranked second among all positions if he would've posted those times at the NFL Combine. He had private workouts and visits with 11 NFL teams, including the San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Detroit Lions, Carolina Panthers, Washington Redskins, New Orleans Saints, Seattle Seahawks, and Pittsburgh Steelers. NFL draft experts and analysts projected him to be a second round pick. He was ranked the fourth best strong safety in the draft by NFLDraftScout.com, the fourth best safety by NFL analysts Mike Mayock and Bucky Brooks, was ranked the fifth best safety by ESPN, and was ranked the sixth best safety by Sports Illustrated.
|Ht||Wt||Arm length||Hand size||40-yard dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert jump||Broad||BP|
|6 ft 4 in
|32 1⁄2 in
|9 1⁄8 in
|4.40 s||1.51 s||2.55 s||4.30 s||7.07 s||44 in
|11 ft 9 in
|All value from NFL Combine/UConn's Pro Day|
The Oakland Raiders selected Melifonwu in the second round (56th overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft. He was placed on injured reserve on September 5, 2017, with eligibility to return in 2017. He was activated from injured reserve to the active roster on November 4, 2017. He was placed back on injured reserve on December 15, 2017 after having hip surgery.
New England PatriotsEdit
On November 5, 2018, Melifonwu signed a two-year contract with the New England Patriots. Melifonwu appeared in 2 games for the Patriots, recording 3 tackles. Melifonwu and the Patriots eventually reached Super Bowl LIII where they beat the Los Angeles Rams 13-3.
- Grafton's Obi Melifonwu picks UConn
- No Danger In Expecting Big Things From UConn Safety
- Obi Melifonwu A Unique Name, One UConn's Diaco Says You'll Hear In NFL
- UConn safety Obi Melifonwu has grown into strong leader for Huskies
- UConn's Melifonwu Hopes To Improve Draft Resume With Solid Outing At Senior Bowl
- UConn safety Obi Melifonwu opening eyes at Senior Bowl practices
- "Senior Bowl: North roster". seniorbowl.com. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
- Jim Fuller (January 26, 2017). "UConn safety Obi Melifonwu opening eyes at Senior Bowl practices". nhregister.com. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
- Dan Madigan (March 22, 2017). "Pro Day Recap: Thomas Melifonwu highlight Huskie's Pro Day". dailycampus.com. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
- "WalterFootball.com: Prospect visits". Walterfootball.com. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
- Chris Burke (April 24, 2017). "2017 NFL Draft Rankings: Top Prospects by Position". si.com. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
- Jeff Legwold (April 22, 2017). "Ranking the 2017 Draft's Top 100 Prospects". ESPN.com. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
- Mike Mayock (April 12, 2017). "Mike Mayock's 2017 NFL Draft position rankings 3.0". NFL.com. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
- Bucky Brooks (April 25, 2017). "Bucky Brooks' 2017 NFL Draft position rankings 3.0". NFL.com. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
- "NFL Draft Profile: Obi Melifonwu". NFL.com. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
- "Obi Melifonwu, DS #4 SS, UConn". nfldraftscout.com. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
- "Oakland Raiders Select Obi Melifonwu In Second Round Of 2017 NFL Draft". Raiders.com. April 28, 2017.
- "Raiders Sign Harris, Woodson-Luster". Raiders.com. September 5, 2017.
- "Raiders Activate Obi Melifonwu". Raiders.com. November 4, 2017.
- Paskal, Eddie (December 15, 2017). "Rookie Safety Obi Melifonwu Headed To Reserve/Injured List". Raiders.com.
- "Raiders Sign CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie; Waived/Injured S Obi Melifonwu". Raiders.com. August 23, 2018.
- Williams, Charean (August 24, 2018). "Obi Melifonwu passes through waivers, reverts to Raiders' IR". Pro Football Talk. NBC Sports.
- "Patriots Make a Series of Roster Moves". Patriots.com. November 6, 2018.
- "Obi Melifonwu Stats". ESPN. Retrieved February 1, 2019.