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Draft INSIGHT: Round 2 - CB Elijah Molden & CB Ifeatu Melifonwu

ROUND 2 could add another defensive back to Joe Woods’ 4-2-5 defense

Oregon v Washington Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The Browns pick at Number 59 in the second round. Here are a couple of pass defenders that should be available when their pick is live.

CB Elijah Molden

Molden is a player who can come in Day 1 and compete for the starting position or instantly become the nickel defensive back. He can make a noticeable impact on the field. He is an excellent tackler and a huge help in the run game. Molden can play man coverage, zone coverage, or any type of press coverage. He has the ability to show up in big games and produce. The second round is a perfect place to find cheap labor and you can never have too many valued cornerbacks. His usual alignment is inside assignment. Highly effective coverage guy.

Draft projection: mid to late second-round

Specifics:

College: Washington

Height: 5’-10”

Weight: 191 pounds

40-time: 4.58

Career Tackles: 153

Career Forced Fumbles: 2

Career Sacks: 0

Career Pass Defenses: 19

Career Interceptions: 5

Career Tackles for Loss: 7

Career starts: 36

Positives:

  • Two Time First Team All Pac-12
  • Man coverage his business
  • Great route recognition
  • Quick yet not fast
  • Outstanding in run support
  • Excellent tackler with tons of production
  • No better zone corner in this draft
  • 79 tackles his junior year
  • Father Alex played in the NFL
  • Real deal
  • Never ending motor

Negatives:

  • Can get too clingy to larger receivers
  • Initial angles need work
  • Bunny hops right before laying a blow which delays
  • Not the most agile athlete
  • Can be pushed deep into the pocket at times
  • Speed does not allow him to compete on the outsides
  • Needs to increase power

Expert Draft Site Analysis

PrimeTimeSportsTalk.com

Watch out. Molden is by far one of the sneakiest steals in this draft. If it were not for the fact that he cannot play boundary corner, Molden could be in the first-round. Yes, you heard that right. If Molden can find a way to increase his hit power and limit his bunny hopping, there may not be a corner better than him in this class regardless of their role.


Reese’s Senior Bowl Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

CB Ifeatu Melifonwu

While the Browns need quality depth at all the defensive positions, there are never too many good cornerbacks to add to the roster. Melifonwu is a gem and make no mistake, he would compete for a starting position right out of the gate. His natural position would be the zone corner. He has a very long reach and is a bigger corner than most where he plays physical. Exceptional ball skills and a good tackler. Quick feet, nice abilities at the catch point, and will read the quarterback.

Draft projection: mid to late first-round

Specifics:

College: Syracuse

Height: 6’-2”

Weight: 212 pounds

40-time: 4.48

Career Tackles: 88

Career Forced Fumbles: 0

Career Sacks: 1

Career Pass Defenses: 19

Career Interceptions: 3

Career Tackles for Loss: 5

Career starts: 23

Positives:

  • Long reach
  • Outstanding size matches well with larger receivers
  • Great burst towards the pass
  • An elite athlete
  • Explosive
  • Shows great recognition of screen plays
  • Very intelligent – Two Time All-ACC Academic Team
  • Third Team All-ACC 2020
  • Senior Bowl invitee
  • Lineage: brother Obi plays safety for the San Francisco 49ers

Negatives:

  • Has had two injuries in two seasons
  • Route recognition skills need improvement
  • Above average run defender, but does engage
  • Coverage spacing lacks refinement
  • Poor backpedal maneuvers
  • Can be hesitate at times

Expert Draft Site Analysis

ProFootballNetwork.com

On top of his size, Melifonwu also brings enticing athleticism. The Syracuse cornerback is fluid with his hip transitions. He’s shown that he can lower his hips as he flips upfield, a crucial part of the transition. Melifonwu also has the ability to explode out of his hip transitions. Melifonwu is arguably an elite athlete, given his combination of size and mobility. Melifonwu also uses his physical tools fairly well. He combines them with decent instincts and flashes of processing speed. He has the ability to recognize tells in a receiver’s route running, and how to anticipate and jump in-breaking routes. But the fact that he shows the capacity for that kind of awareness is promising.