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2017 NFL mock draft: Obi Melifonwu to the Chicago Bears

Can the Connecticut playmaker finally fix Chicago’s safety issues?

NCAA Football: Connecticut at Boston College Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

One of the bigger surprises in the first round of the SB Nation NFL writers' mock draft was the Chicago Bears taking Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson at No. 3 overall. The pick actually went over pretty well and averaged out to getting a B grade.

Regardless of whether it was liked or not, Watson was picked with the notion that he'll be the franchise quarterback for the Bears. If they can do that this draft, they could turn their attention to the defense for the next several selections. That's exactly the case with Lester Wiltfong Jr. of Windy City Gridiron here to make the choice for the Bears.

35. Obi Melifonwu, S, Connecticut

Wiltfong: After “reaching” a bit and getting a quarterback at No. 3 overall, I was able to get great value with the 6’4, 224-pound safety from Connecticut. He’s a four-year starter that racked up 118 tackles and four interceptions as a senior. He’s so athletic that some teams are looking at him at corner, but the Bears would just plug him in at safety next to the newly signed veteran, Quintin Demps, and let him grow into his role.

Chicago needs a young playmaker at the position, something they haven't had in about a decade, and Melifonwu is always around the ball.

Analysis: Year after year it seems like the Bears go into the draft needing to take a safety. Hopefully a player like Melifonwu can help them keep that need checked for a long time. Melifonwu's size and athleticism combination has gotten a lot of attention since he was one of the stars of Senior Bowl. But it shouldn't be discounted how well he played in four seasons at Connecticut, finishing with 351 tackles and eight interceptions. As a pro, he can occupy two roster spots with his ability to be used as a safety and in man coverage against tight ends and wide receivers.

Dan's top five players remaining

  • 26. Tim Williams, LB, Alabama
  • 30. Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU
  • 31. Charles Harris, DE/OLB, Missouri
  • 34. Sidney Jones, CB, Washington
  • 37. Carl Lawson, DE, Auburn

Bears picks

  • 1-3: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
  • 2-35: Obi Melifonwu, S, Connecticut

That does it for our three picks of the day in the SB Nation NFL writers' mock draft. Things start back up tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. ET with the Los Angeles Rams and Turf Show Times finally getting a pick in.


What grade do you give the Bears for taking Melifonwu?

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  • 41%
    (352 votes)
  • 31%
    (264 votes)
  • 15%
    (134 votes)
  • 6%
    (51 votes)
  • 4%
    (40 votes)
841 votes total Vote Now