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2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Max Melton (CB – Rutgers)

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Max Melton (CB – Rutgers)

FantasyPros will be taking a look at early NFL Draft scouting reports before the Combine in March. Here’s a look at Rutgers cornerback Max Melton.

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Max Melton

Max Melton (CB – Rutgers)

6’0″ – 190 lbs.

Background:

Max Melton comes from a football family (brother Bo was a 2022 seventh-round pick). Started six out of nine games played as a freshman, allowing 20/30 passing (66.7%) for 225 yards and one breakup when targeted. Started all 10 games he appeared in the following year, allowing 24/45 passing (53.3%) for 394 yards, five touchdowns, three interceptions and six breakups. Started all 12 games in 2022, with passers going 31/54 (57.4%) for 332 yards, four touchdowns, two interceptions and six breakups when targeting him. Started 12 games this year as well, allowing 24/44 (54.5%), 252 yards, three touchdowns, three interceptions and three breakups.

Positives:

Has been starting for the better part of four years and made some progress this year. A relatively tall cornerback who appears to have good length. Typically plays press or off-coverage. Shows a clean backpedal with good balance. Footwork at the line looks good to match opposing releases in press coverage. Physical player who knows how to use his length to jam opponents and disrupt timing-based throws. Uses his hands well to feel routes and stay connected in man. Squeezes in-breaking routes very well and appears to have solid overall speed to stick with opponents on shallow crosses, overs and other routes of that nature. Length allows him to make plays on the ball. Overall production has been solid over the past three years. Shows good overall toughness and willingness in the run game. Attacks blocks with aggression.

Negatives:

Got picked on in school a bit more than most of the other top cornerback prospects. His technique isn’t as refined as expected for a four-year starter. More smooth than explosive. Awkward transitions and balance issues crop up at times; overall coordination is closer to average. Can be overly physical at times. Somewhat prone to penalties this past year (five enforced, one declined or offset.) His physicality is more impressive than his overall functional strength. Contact balance and hand use can be issues when taking on blocks. Gives good effort in run support, but overall effectiveness is closer to average, missing over a quarter of his tackle attempts this past year.

Summary:

A physical and experienced cornerback who knows how to use his hands to create problems for opposing receivers. Has a solid combination of length and athleticism. However, he doesn’t have a consistent, well-rounded game at this point. Will need to clean up some elements of his technique to avoid being exploited at the next level. Consequently, looks more like a mid-round developmental prospect for a team that emphasizes bullying opposing receivers.

Projection: Round 4

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