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Devin McCourty on new Patriots safety Obi Melifonwu: 'He’s freaking huge'

Ryan Hannable
November 30, 2018 - 12:44 pm

FOXBORO -- There was a new player on the field for the Patriots Sunday against the Jets, and he was hard to miss.

Standing 6-foot-4, safety Obi Melifonwu made his Patriots debut and although he played just eight defensive snaps, he was a big contributor on special teams.

Melifonwu, a 2017 second-round pick of the Raiders, was released in late October and signed by the Patriots Nov. 5.

Devin McCourty was asked about him on Thursday and he immediately noted his size.

"Man, he’s freaking huge," he said. "He’s a bigger, physical guy and I thought he’s done a great job whether it’s staying after with Steve [Belichick], talking to myself, [Patrick] Chung or Du [Duron Harmon] of when he’s out there, what we expect of him and what we need him to do and then what he expects of us and what we need to do to help him. I thought it was great, him getting out there last weekend in different packages and being able to help us.

"A very athletic guy and, like I said, he’s able to go up there and match up on some tight ends. When we talk about being undersized against them, he lines up and it’s like ‘mano a mano,’ same size. Like you see him standing next to Gronk [Rob Gronkowski] and you’re like, 'Dang. Gronk doesn’t make this guy look little.' I thought he’s brought a really good edge to our group."

It would seem as Melifonwu gets more comfortable with the system he will see more playing time, especially considering the Patriots signed him to a two-year contract.

Melifonwu is a Grafton, Massachusetts native.

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