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2021 Draft special: CB Ifeatu Melifonwu tells us his best draft meeting was with the 49ers

Plus, in the second half of the show, we talk about the problem with groupthink during the draft process.

Reese’s Senior Bowl Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Every Friday, we’ve been talking about the NFL Draft, and today’s episode was the most fun. Syracuse cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu joins the show as we spoke about how the draft process has gone for him.

Melifonwu’s older bother Obi signed a futures contract with the 49ers to begin this year. As Ifeatu was an eighth-grader when Obi was a senior in high school, he's never played with his brother. It’d be a dream come true for the two to play with each other.

Ifeatu said he had his best meeting with the Niners as it was his first meeting with any NFL team. I’m sure you’ve heard the bizarre questions that come out of the NFL Combine each year. Melifonwu didn’t get any this draft cycle, but his brother did warn him:

We also spoke about the challenges of off-man coverage, why you cannot rely on your physical gifts at the NFL level, and much more.

The second part of the conversation is with a good buddy of mine, Scott. He watches football in a way I wish everyone did. Context is everything, yet it’s always left out when discussing football.

Scott and I spoke about everything that’s wrong with the draft process from groupthink, to how we don’t learn to how we haven’t evolved over the years. It feels like the same mistakes are made by the same evaluators on the same players every year. Former Iowa State wide receiver Hakeem Butler is a prime example.

We also address the lack of nuance in conversations surrounding the draft. Take Justin Fields, for example. Scott, who is not big on Fields, said we’d gone so far in the other direction to address Fields not being a one-read QB. Because Fields isn’t a one-read quarterback doesn’t mean he’s superb at reading the field.

I asked Scott why we struggle and how to improve in evals, and I loved his answer:

Completely change the way you think about the sport. When you understand the sport primarily through production, when, on a given play, there are 22 people on the field. At most, two people will get credit for production. At that point, most of your statistics are all driven by that. The grading PFF does is garbage. It’s terrible. I’m sorry. Anyone who watches film knows that. They don’t know what they’re looking at.

Once you really get down the rabbit hole of learning scheme and technique, you realize how difficult it is to fully know what a guys’ responsibility is, how they’re coaching up run fits. There’s so much going into technique. There’s so much more to the game than the quarterback.

It’s kinda funny because if the game wasn’t televised the way it was, people would probably realize and benefit more. Imagine watching basketball, and the game was only zoomed in on the point guard who had the ball and you never saw anything else. You wouldn’t understand basketball at all. To me, that’s the No. 1 thing. It’s understanding how the sport works. If you think the QB is responsible for 50% of what happens on a play, then you just have no chance at getting anything right. That’s my honest opinion.

Scott thinks outside of the box and challenges your typical train of thought, which makes him a great person to talk football with.

Check out the entire conversation below, where we also talk about why there is a giant buyer beware tag with Zach Wilson: