Raiders take London born Obi Melifonwu in the 2nd Round

Obi Melifonwu completed his journey from London to the National Football League when he was selected by the Oakland Raiders in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft in Philadelphia.

Melifonwu, a stand-out safety at the University of Connecticut, was the 24th player selected in the second round, the 56th overall.

He becomes the fourth UK-born player currently in the NFL, joining defensive end Jack Crawford (Atlanta Falcons), offensive tackle Menelik Watson (Denver Broncos) and running back Jay Ajayi (Miami Dolphins).

Melifonwu, born in Archway’s Whittington Hospital to Nigerian parents, spent the first three years of his life in London before his family moved to Massachusetts. “My heart is with Nigeria but London is my home,” he said prior to the draft.

He earned first team All-AAC honours in his senior year at the University of Connecticut Huskies, with a team-leading 118 tackles and four interceptions, and was one of the star performers at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis in February.

British-born players currently in the NFL:

Born Rookie Year NFL Team College
Jay Ajayi (RB) London 2015 Miami Dolphins Boise State
Jack Crawford (DT) London 2012 Dallas Cowboys Penn State
Graham Gano (K) Arbroath 2009 Carolina Panthers Florida State
Lawrence Okoye (OL) Croydon 2013 Miami Dolphins Whitgift HS
Efe Obada (LB) Nigeria 2015 Free Agent N/A
Menelik Watson (OT) Manchester 2013 Denver Broncos Florida State
Obi Melifonwu (S) London 2017 Oakland Raiders Connecticut
Jermaine Eluemunor (OT) London 2017 Baltimore Ravens Texas A&M

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