NFL Draft Prospect Preview: DE Henry Melton

If you haven’t figured it out by now then you’ve been living under a rock or you’re only a Bears fan who gets excited about the draft a week or two before the draft takes place. Most year round Bears fans are well aware that the Bears had a dismal pass rush in 2008 and may actually be looking to grab a DE in the middle to late rounds of the draft.

This would answer why the Bears are scouting a raw but potentially promising prospect such as Henry Melton from the University of Texas. While Melton doesn’t have production and sack numbers that will knock your socks off, he does have solid potential and the all too often used cliche known as….UPSIDE. Melton brings a bunch of athleticism and speed to the table but not a lot of production. In 2008 he had four sacks and 10 tackles for a loss for the Longhorns. Not exactly numbers that jump of the page and hit you in the face when talking about a kid from Austin.

However when you delve into the scouting reports and see the numbers from the combine you get the sense that if Melton is around in round four or perhaps later a coach like Rod Marinelli might be able to get some production equal to his athleticism. At 6-foot-4 and 269-pounds with a 40-yard dash time in the mid 4.6 range Melton has all the tools to be a solid 4-3 DE.

So why is there so little production or hype regarding a kid with this size and athleticism? Simple Melton has only played defensive end full time for two years. Before that he was a RB who only took some snaps and got some reps as a DE. But now Melton is a raw athlete who with the right coaching could be a sleeper prospect in the NFL draft.

One thing that the Chicago Bears’ scouting department has been known for is finding raw defensive prospects in the later rounds. Melton has aspects that can’t be coached and the rest of him that needs to be coached up if he winds up a Chicago Bear, he will be coached and developed by one of the best in the business.

All of the scouting reports on Melton are pretty consistent, they talk about all his upside, potential, athleticism, size and speed. After that the weaknesses are all what you would expect them to be. Gets beat in one on one situations, doesn’t use good leverage, has technique problems and on and on.

So the question is with the Bears’ obvious interest and furthermore their obvious need will they draft a player like Henry Melton and develop him over a couple years on special teams or potentially the practice squad. Will he ever live up to his potential? It’s one question that perhaps Rod Marinelli will be the one to answer.

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2 Responses to “NFL Draft Prospect Preview: DE Henry Melton”

  1. David M Says:

    Interesting that youre highlighting melton.
    I had a few classes with him and our seats were next to each other, so we got to know one another fairly well. He is a funny guy-very big in person. He wasnt much of a running back, but he does show promise as a pass rusher. As a runner, he didnt use his size enough and ran too upright to be a power back.

    • monstersofthemidwayillustrated Says:

      The Bears liked what they saw out of him at the Texas Pro Day so they lined him up for a visit and workout to see more. When you have one of the best defensive line coaches in the NFL you hope that he could take a guy with that type of size and talent and make him a star. So long as he works as hard as he is coached….we’ll see I guess.

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