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2017 NFL Mock Draft: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Select S Obi Melifonwu at No. 19

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NCAA Football: Connecticut at Tulane
Connecticut Huskies safety Obi Melifonwu (20) breaks up a pass intended for Tulane Green Wave tight end Trey Scott (83).
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

With the 19th pick in the 2017 DBN Community NFL Mock Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select...

Obi Melifonwu, S, Connecticut

The selection and write-up were made by Ezweav:

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are definitely on the upswing, just three years removed from being 2-14. Famous Jameis enters his third year firmly entrenched as team leader and legit FQB. The Bucs overall are a good team, coming off a winning season (9-7) and poised to make a serious playoff push, the roster does not have many glaring holes. Sure they could use upgrades pretty much everywhere, and everybody can always use more pass-rushers, but I think the pick here is one that hits the (pretty close to) BPA as well as being one that does significantly upgrade one of (if not the) weakest position(s) group.

Obi Melfonwu is ranked much later in most mocks, but this kid is going to be a top-20 pick. Honestly, I'd take him at 12 if we don't like the QB's (or have taken one at 1). That's not likely to happen though, and so he'll wind up playing down in my neighborhood. If you don't know anything about him, he was a high producer for the University of Connecticut, particularly in the running game. He's a good tackler, which is something any defense can use. He doesn't have elite ball skills but has room to go to become a force in that arena - not that he's particular bad at it, just raw.

The physical attributes are immense. He's 6'4, runs a 4.40, had a 44'' vertical and a 141'' broadjump at the combine. If you're not keen on combine stats those are hellaciously great numbers. This kid is a physical freak - every bit as much of one at his position as Myles Garrett is at his. He's not as refined a player though, or else he'd be the first defensive player taken after Garrett.

Putting him in the same secondary as 2016 1st round pick (#11 overall) Vernon Hargraeves elevates that position group to the level the linebacking corp and defensive line currently are. He can play either safety position too so whichever of Chris Conte/Keith Tandy wins the other starting job Ob's can round it out.

When Tampa Bay put together one of (if not the) greatest defensive squads in modern football (mid-90's to early 00's) the bedrock players were a stud defensive tackle, a swarming weakside LB, and a hard-hitting S. The current iteration of the Buccs have Gerald McCoy at DT and Lavonte David at WLB, and they are every bit the studs their predecessors were. The missing piece has been that beastly Safety-man. Obi's not the pulverizing hitter that John Lynch was, but then Lynch would never be able to cover the ground (and the air) that Melifonwu can. His potential is enormous.

After this, Dirk and Licht high-five and hit the bar. Good get for the Buccaneers.

Pokorny: With several safeties already off the board, if the Buccaneers need a safety at this pick, then I don’t see it as much of a reach. I was kind of surprised to see that 40% of mocks have the Buccaneers taking a running back in round one, and then I realized Doug Martin only averaged 2.9 YPC in limited action last year, a far cry from his re-emergence in 2015. With only one running back off the board, I could see that being the route they go...but between the two options, I’d still favor safety.

The Denver Broncos are up next, led by poultman.

2017 DBN Community Mock Draft Results

Pick Team Username Selection
Pick Team Username Selection
1 Cleveland Browns Menocu DE Myles Garrett
2 San Francisco 49ers unoservix S Malik Hooker
3 Chicago Bears CTBuckeye DE Solomon Thomas
4 Jacksonville Jaguars UberTater RB Leonard Fournette
5 Tennessee Titans npchristman CB Marshon Lattimore
6 New York Jets jdreyfuss S Jamal Adams
7 Los Angeles Chargers unoservix S Jabrill Peppers
8 Carolina Panthers MConley17 TE O.J. Howard
9 Cincinnati Bengals Mudville DE Derek Barnett
10 Buffalo Bills The Bottom! WR Mike Williams
11 New Orleans Saints makeaplay59 DT Jonathan Allen
12 Cleveland Browns mrwhitman QB Mitch Trubisky
13 Arizona Cardinals Crawford_T WR Corey Davis
14 Philadelphia Eagles Gin_and_Tonic CB Gareon Conley
15 Indianapolis Colts fjblessi ILB Reuben Foster
16 Baltimore Ravens Suppa Bob DE Taco Charlton
17 Washington Redskins OhioCityBrownsBeliever LB Haason Reddick
18 Tennessee Titans Legoman0721 WR John Ross
19 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Ezweav S Obi Melifonwu
20 Denver Broncos poultman OT Ryan Ramczyk
21 Detroit Lions Mean Ol' Pete LB Zach Cunningham
22 Miami Dolphins anthszabo DE Charles Harris
23 New York Giants impulseCTRLissues OT Cam Robinson
24 Oakland Raiders Ghenry518 ILB Raekwon McMillan
25 Houston Texans Darth_Batman QB Deshaun Watson
26 Seattle Seahawks michael.hamper OT Garett Bolles
27 Kansas City Chiefs The Beast Mode QB Pat Mahomes
28 Dallas Cowboys Matt Wood CB Tre'Davious White
29 Green Bay Packers Robo Dawg RB Christian McCaffrey
30 Pittsburgh Steelers fj holden CB Kevin King
31 Atlanta Falcons BrianB77 OL Forrest Lamp
32 New Orleans Saints troy145 RB Dalvin Cook
33 Cleveland Browns Ike5 S Budda Baker