Eagles sign former 2nd-round safety who wowed at combine


The Eagles on Thursday signed former second-round safety Obi Melifonwu and wide receiver Andre Patton, who once played for Nick Sirianni with the Chargers.

Melifonwu, 27, was drafted by the Raiders back in the second round (No. 56) out of UConn back in 2017 but his NFL career hasn’t exactly gone to plan. Melifonwu played in just five games with one start for the Raiders in 2017 and played in just two games with the Patriots in 2018.

During his time with the Raiders, Melifonwu dealt with some injuries, including an arthroscopic knee surgery and hip surgery. It’s likely a coaching change with the Raiders didn’t help him stick with his first team either. Since then, Melifonwu spent some time on the Patriots’ practice squad and was with the 49ers for a few months this offseason.

So why would the Eagles be interested in Melifonwu?

Well, the reason he was drafted was because of his raw athleticism. While most folks understood he had a lot to learn when he was drafted, Melifonwu put on an absolute show at the 2017 combine at 6-foot-4, 224 pounds.

Even at 224 pounds, Melifonwu ran a ridiculous 4.40 second time in the 40-yard dash at the 2017 combine. If any of that athleticism is still inside him, he’s worth checking out.

Melifonwu’s younger brother, Ifeatu, was just drafted by the Lions in the third round of the 2021 draft out of Syracuse.

The Eagles have decent depth at the safety position for now. While Rodney McLeod is on the Active/PUP as he returns from a torn ACL, the Eagles still have Anthony Harris, K’Von Wallace, Marcus Epps and Grayland Arnold at the position. And once Andrew Adams returns from the Reserve/COVID-19 list, they’ll have him too. In the first two days of training camp, without McLeod, Harris has lined up next to Wallace mostly and Epps at times.

Patton, 27, is a Wilmington, Delaware, native and played collegiately at Rutgers. He went undrafted in 2017 but signed with the Chargers. As a rookie, he was on the Chargers’ practice squad, which means he was coached by Sirianni, who was then the Chargers’ receivers coach.

Patton has since been with the Cardinals and Dolphins. Patton’s only regular season NFL action came with the Chargers in 2019. That season, he played in 13 games with five starts. He had six catches for 56 yards. Patton spent last season on the Dolphins' practice squad.

The Eagles have been a little light at receiver to start camp. Quez Watkins, Jalen Reagor, Greg Ward Jr. and Travis Fulgham have all missed some time. Bringing in another body certainly makes sense.

The Eagles’ roster is full at 90 players but because they have three players on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, they won’t have to make any corresponding moves. Those players do not count toward the 90-man limit.

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