April 23, 2017

Grafton’s Obi Melifonwu is ready for his NFL Draft moment

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UConn Athletics / Steve Slade

Obi Melifonwu was drafted in the second round (56th overall) by the Oakland Raiders.

With the NFL Draft beginning Thursday night, Grafton native Obi Melifonwu sits just days away from realizing a lifetime goal.

Yet, while the 6-foot-4 safety has been working most of his life to be an NFL player, his name became familiar to casual fans less than two months ago.

Melifonwu’s arrival on the national scene came at the annual NFL Combine, where he stunned uninitiated fans and scouts by posting amazing workout numbers across the board, including a 4.40-second 40-yard dash, and Combine-best results in both the vertical jump (44 inches) and broad jump (11 feet, 9 inches).

“I’m not really amazed. I knew going [into the Combine] what I could do,” Melifonwu said with a chuckle. “I think other people were amazed by the numbers, especially people that weren’t familiar with me, but not anybody who has ever coached me or played with me.”

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