ALAMEDA — The Raiders made another move to boost their secondary by taking Connecticut safety Obi Melifonwu with their second pick in the NFL Draft.
Melifonwu, a native of London, England, joins first-round cornerback Gareon Conley as the Raiders look to remake a secondary that was gave up a league-worst 61 pass plays of 20 yards or more.
The 6-foot-3, 217-pound Melifonwu ran the 40-yard dash in 4.40 seconds at the NFL scouting combine and is considered to be strong against the run with good ball skills. His 40 time was the best among safeties at the combine and he also had the best vertical jump (44 inches) and broad jump (11 feet, 9 inches).
A former cornerback, he’s got the size and ability to defend tight ends — a huge area of need on the Raiders defense — and adds much-needed depth at the position. The Raiders went into the draft with just two safeties on their roster in Reggie Nelson and last year’s first-round pick Karl Joseph.
A four-year starter at UConn, Melifonwu led the Huskies with 128 tackles and four interceptions last season. He recorded a career-high 24 in a game against Tulane and had a pair of interceptions in a game against Temple.