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Former UCONN Safety Obi Melifonwu Visits the Dolphins

Ari Russell



The Miami Dolphins have been showing the public the potential direction of their draft with their official visits. We understand their positional needs, but will the Dolphins just go with the best available player when they select at #22 overall? One of their most recent visits may be pointing towards that strategy. Former UCONN safety Obi Melifonwu was brought in on Friday.

What makes Melifonwu just an interesting target is his meteoritic rise. He first really started catching a buzz at the Senior Bowl practices. Then he stood out in the Senior Bowl game having one of the stronger performances. If that didn’t create enough buzz, he basically owned the NFL Scouting Combine. He ran a 4.40 40, had a 44 inch vertical and 11.9 foot long jump. The two jumps were top in the combine, and his 40 times the fastest for any safety.

He’s a big guy with speed, who’s offseason leading up to the draft has to be one of the most impressive on record. He was projected as a fourth round pick before the workout and now is climbing into the first round. Which isn’t unheard of, but very rare.

Is Melifonwu really a need position wise? The Dolphins already have quite a bit of depth at the position, including the signings of Nate Jones and TJ McDonald (suspended first 8 games) If the Dolphins feel that Melifonwu is one of those transcending type talents that has to be swooped up when they pick at 22, they may just take him. It’s a tough decision though because of his quick rise. Are scouts overlooking some of his weaknesses because he’s such an athletic freak? Is he like the opposite of Teez Tabor who has had awful workouts but tells folks to watch game film? Ahh the questions and lack of answers leading up to the NFL Drafts. These are the decisions where careers are made and destroyed on the same day.


Born in the Nation’s Capital, Washington D.C., Ari Russell watched the rise of the 1980’s Miami Hurricanes and knew that he had to be part of the “U” someday. After graduating from Coral Gables, Ari rose through the ranks of the former XM Satellite Radio and then Sirius/XM as college football executive producer. He later spent 2 seasons as the publisher of the website “Beyond U Sports” focusing on major college football/basketball. Ari brings a great perspective on everything Miami, including the Dolphins to F.F.I.