2024 2nd round pick #43 is Max Melton CB

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Max Melton runs official 4.39-second 40-yard dash at 2024 combine


  • 2020: Played in all 9 games with 6 starts (21 tackles, TFL).
  • 2021: Led the team with 3 INTs. Started 10 games (28 tackles, 2 TFL, 3 INTs-1 returned for TD, 6 PBUs, blocked kick). Suspended 3 games after being charged with 3 counts of aggravated assault and a weapons count for shooting 3 students with a paintball gun. Entered a pre-trial intervention program.
  • 2022: Honorable Mention All-Big Ten Conference. Tied for the FBS lead with 3 blocked kicks. Started all 12 games (33 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 INTs, 10 PBUs).
  • 2023: Honorable Mention All-Big Ten Conference. Led the team with 3 INTs. Started 12 games (32 tackles, 4 TFL with 1 sack, 3 INTs, 6 PBUs, FF).
  • Brother, Bo, played WR at Rutgers and currently plays for the Packers. Father, Gary, played WR/RB at Rutgers. Mother, Vicky, played basketball at Rutgers.
-- by Chad Reuter


By Lance Zierlein
NFL Analyst
Draft Projection
Round 2

Overview​

Versatile inside/outside cornerback who displayed improvement every year at Rutgers. Melton carries good size and did a nice job staying with some of the better receiving options from the Big Ten. He's adequate from press and has the burst to make up ground when he gets behind early. He's at his best, however, when playing with his eyes forward from zone and searching for clues to jump in and make plays on the football. The ball skills can flip the field, and he's very aggressive in collapsing the catch point. He's capable in run support but needs to work on his angles of pursuit. His versatility, traits, instincts and ball skills could make him an eventual starter and an early CB3/4.

Strengths​

  • Plays inside and outside with good size and length.
  • Able to slide and slow an inside release from boundary or slot.
  • Highly instinctive when playing with eyes forward.
  • Reads the receiver's stride length to clue in on when to jump the route.
  • Possesses dynamic ball skills to beat receivers to the ball.
  • Uses long strides to make up the distance when he gets behind.
  • Plays with above-average aggression challenging perimeter run blocks.

Weaknesses​

  • Upright backpedal with slight hitch in his transitions.
  • Beaten too easily across his face for goal-line and short-yardage slants.
  • Average plant-and-drive acceleration from the top of his drop.
  • Relies on reading the receiver's eyes over finding the football.
  • Room for improvement with his angles to ball-carrier in run support.
 
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POSITIVES
— Versatile defensive back with good size and length. Has plenty of snaps aligned as a slot and outside cornerback.
— Shows good awareness in zone coverage with proper spacing. Displays great anticipation of routes and quickly reacts to threats. Does a great job of playing the ball when he is able to see it thrown.
— Aggressive and physical defender in the run game. Takes on blocks with his hands and looks to quickly discard. Very good in close quarters and performs best when close to the line of scrimmage. Triggers and fills gaps in the backfield.


NEGATIVES
— Lacks recovery speed when out of position, which leads to him struggling to close separation out of breaks. Plays with high pad level, which causes him to round his breaks at times.
— Can get caught staring at the quarterback too much. Doesn't trust his instincts to break and drive, which causes him to be late out of breaks.
 

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