(WTNH)–There’s something about UConn football players and the NFL combine.
He wasn’t projected near the first round before his Olympic championship-style leap (it may also have been a world record), but ended up being selected 27th overall by the Dallas Cowboys. Jones has had a solid start to his career, recording 154 combined tackles in two seasons.
On Monday, another UConn defensive player leapt his way towards the first round of the draft. This time, it was safety Obi Melifonwu.
— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) March 6, 2017
The South Grafton, Mass., native put up a 44-inch vertical jump, which was just one inch off the combine record set by Kansas City Chiefs wideout Chris Conley in 2015.
Melifonwu also posted a broad jump of 11 feet, 9 inches, which is the best so far at this year’s combine. His measurables were so impressive that NFL Research tweeted this on Monday:
Obi Melifonwu at combine:
– Taller than Larry Fitzgerald
– Quicker than Darren Sproles
– Faster than Devin Hester
– Jumps higher than OBJ pic.twitter.com/y230S04CUQ
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) March 6, 2017
Then, there was this comparison to Jones from ESPN Stats & Info:
Players with a 40″ vertical, 140″ broad jump at NFL Combine since 2006
2015 Byron Jones
2017 Obi Melifonwu
Both DBs from @UConnFootball
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 6, 2017
Not bad, right?
Melifonwu led UConn with 118 tackles this season and finished eighth in Huskies history with 251 all-time. The 6-3, 220-pound safety also tied a single-game program record with 24 tackles against Tulane last year.
With an impressive combine performance and a terrific Senior Bowl week, Melifonwu is now being projected as a late first-round pick. If that happens, he’d join Jones and running back Donald Brown as the only Huskies in history to be chosen in the first round.
He summed everything up today with this tweet:
I just give God all the glory
— Obi Melifonwu (@Obi_1nOnly) March 6, 2017
Wideout Noel Thomas Jr. is also participating in the combine.
According to the Hartford Courant’s Mike Anthony, Thomas, a native of Norwalk, is being projected as a possible late-round pick.
Check out this feature we did on Melifonwu before the season: