Max Melton’s Draft Profile | Rutgers, CB Scouting Report

If the 2024 NFL Draft is about projecting what players can be, Rutgers CB Max Melton's scouting report will tantalize NFL evaluators.

What does Rutgers’ Max Melton bring to the table as a 2024 NFL Draft prospect? Does he have the scouting report to command early-round capital, and what is his ultimate ceiling in the NFL? Melton gets overlooked at times, but it’s time for that to change.

Max Melton Draft Profile and Measurements

  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 193 pounds
  • Length: 32″
  • Wingspan: 76 3/8″
  • Hand: 9″
  • Position: Cornerback
  • School: Rutgers
  • Current Year: Senior

It didn’t take long for Melton to separate himself upon arriving on Rutgers’ campus.

Melton — the younger brother of Packers WR Bo Melton — logged notable defensive reps as a true freshman in 2020. And in the three years since, he never wavered as a high-level coverage defender.

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Across the three-year stretch from 2021 to 2023, Melton amassed 90 tackles, including 7.5 for loss and one sack, eight interceptions, 22 total pass deflections, four fumble recoveries, and a forced fumble.

At a Rutgers program that’s produced high-quality NFL defensive backs like Logan Ryan and Christian Izien, Melton set himself apart, and that trend carried on with a strong Senior Bowl showing. As the 2024 NFL Draft approaches, he’s starting to ascend.

Melton’s Scouting Report

Strengths

  • Has a well-sized, wiry frame, with the proportional length to get inside WRs’ frames.
  • Carries elite explosiveness upfield and has the long-strider speed to erase gaps.
  • Searing explosiveness allows him to quickly recover leverage and stick to hip pockets.
  • Fleet-footed, energetic short-area mover who glides while playing low in his stance.
  • Has the sharp hip flexibility and hinge fluidity to divert 90 degrees and trail vertically.
  • Has hyper-elite recovery capacity with his short-area burst and full swivel flexibility.
  • Snappy lower-body elasticity allows him to quickly recalibrate his base in close quarters.
  • Aggressive press-man CB who can levy ruthless two-hand jams and disrupt releases.
  • Despite aggression, often uses feet first, matching and keeping WRs within his frame.
  • Can crowd WRs inside their frame moving vertically, pinching them against the sideline.
  • Able to backpedal and vary his technique in off-man while matching route leverage.
  • Flashes keen eyes in zone, hawking in front of passes, with the ball skills to high point.
  • Has the mobility and versatility to play the boundary or the slot at a high level.
  • Voracious blitzing threat who invades creases with speed and chases down plays.
  • Competitive support defender who uses length to encumber and pry through blocks.

Weaknesses

  • Visibly lacks high-end play strength and can be forced out of optimal route leverage.
  • With high-energy movement, can be prone to wasted motion and false steps.
  • With speed, sometimes overruns route breaks and gives up space at stems.
  • Can be more disciplined with route leverage and positioning on crossing concepts.
  • Sometimes halts his feet at stems when attempting to catch, letting WRs blow by.
  • Footwork can be a bit choppy in zone, causing slight delays on transitions and triggers.
  • Is sometimes reckless with physicality past the contact window, inviting penalty risk.
  • Inconsistent application of physicality can disrupt his timing at stems and at the catch.
  • Occasionally can be a tick late to plant and drive on out routes and digs.
  • Sometimes bites too early on double moves with aggressive playmaking urge.
  • Could, at times, be quicker to get his head around and track the football when working vertical.
  • Leaner frame can make him easier to displace with proper blocking power application.
  • Can be more consistent wrapping up and making tackles in pursuit.

Current Draft Projection and Summary

Melton grades out as a top-64 prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft. He’s worth early-to-mid Day 2 capital and should only rise once he tests at the NFL Combine. Particularly for teams that employ more press-man and off-man coverages, Melton should be heavily coveted.

At 5’11”, 193 pounds, with 32″ arms, Melton has an incredibly unique frame — one that brings the benefits of both a smaller and larger cornerback. He plays low in his stance and is extremely fleet-footed, agile, and elastic — but he also has a wide disruption radius and the long-strider speed to chew up space and erase gaps.

Melton’s elite combination of explosiveness, twitch, hinge, and swivel fluidity, and long speed makes him a tantalizing coverage prospect with incredible upside. He can effortlessly match WRs and recover positioning off releases, and his speed makes him a leverage bandit late in reps.

On top of his physical foundation, Melton is extremely physical and tenacious, with the aggressiveness to both interrupt releases and enforce in support. He can pry through blocks with his length or function as a dynamic blitzing threat, and his versatility between the slot and the boundary only compounds his appeal.

Technically, there’s still room for Melton to keep refining his profile. With his high-energy motion, he can be prone to wasted motion and inefficient footwork in man coverage, and he can also be more efficient in zone.

Going further, overaggression can be a problem for Melton at times, both with his applied physicality and trigger. He’ll sometimes grab past the contact window or disrupt his own catch-point timing with late jams, and he also gets burnt looking for the big play at times.

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Nevertheless, if Melton can keep striving toward an ideal balance between patience and aggressiveness, he has the elite physical tools, competitive zeal, and playmaking prowess to be an impact starter with exciting role versatility at the CB position.

All the 2024 NFL Draft resources you need — the draft order, the top QBs, the Top 100 prospects, and the full 2024 Big Board — right at your fingertips at Pro Football Network!

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