Obi Melifonwu Has A New Coaching Staff, But Not Necessarily A Clean Slate

Drafted in the second round of the 2017 draft, safety Obi Melifonwu was supposed to make an instant impact on the Raiders defense – hopefully from day one.

Instead, the rookie’s biggest impact of his rookie season was made on the Raiders injury report.

But even before the injuries, there were rumblings that when he healthy, Melifonwu didn’t turn his hips particularly well and didn’t show the drive to succeed that the previous coaching staff (and even a teammate) was hoping for.

Melifonwu now has the opportunity to start over with a new coaching staff, but his slate may not have been wiped completely clean.

From Vic Tafur writing for The Athletic:

“At safety, the new coaching staff is worried about last year’s second-round pick Obi Melifonwu making a contribution. Like, at all. They almost traded up for a safety late in the first round and early second, but then changed course.”

That said, the Raiders somehow managed to navigate the draft without adding a safety.

Derwin James was on the board for the Raiders first pick, but the need at offensive tackle was too great for Gruden to ignore.

The Raiders reportedly targeted a trade up to grab a safety at the beginning of the second round, but when the safety they wanted fell to their pick, Gruden and company decided to trade the pick away.

For whatever reason, it seems to be in the cards for Melifonwu to get another chance to make his mark.

Hopefully this season he can stay healthy enough to take advantage.

twitter: @raidersbeat


6 thoughts on “Obi Melifonwu Has A New Coaching Staff, But Not Necessarily A Clean Slate

  1. Why should we read “you” when we could just read “Vic from the frig’n Athletics”??? Oh, that’s right, because Vic doesn’t have any insider information either.

  2. I hope he works out. Seems like a good kid with outstanding size and speed. Time will tell.

  3. I may be the only person in the world to agree with the raiders draft choices but I do. While DP is an awesome tackle the raiders needed depth at this position because some of the depth on the OL is not able to step in when needed. Yes ILB and DT were areas of need but the players currently on roster at those positions can be coached up. I also think everyone is being too hard on Obi he was injured and yes it was his rookie year but injuries are part of the game and can happen to anyone that’s why all teams ad depth so if the injury bug strikes the next man up. You can’t blame an injured player for our record since they were injured trying to help the team. I think Obi will bounce back and all that want him gone will be happy that the raiders didn’t cut him. Give the staff a chance to do what they do before down playing everything

  4. I did not like this pick as it was. Taking Jihad Ward, now traded to the Cowboys in the 2nd round the year before and then taking this guy Obi in the 2nd round last year, it does not seem like good picks to me. I hope Obi proves me wrong, but so far, the guy has been a walking injury.

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