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NFL Draft Prospect Preview - Max Melton

by Zachary Somma

Photo courtesy of Draft Network.

At Draft 412, the NFL draft talk never ends. We will keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars—from today and all the way until draft night 2024. We will bring you mock drafts, player profiles, individual team needs, and everything else you may need related to the 2024 NFL Draft.

Today’s Spotlight - Rutgers, Cornerback, Max Melton

Name- Max Melton

Pos- CB

Team- Rutgers

HT/WT- 6’0” 190 lbs.

Born- N/A

Home- Mays Landing, New Jersey

Max Melton is a 4th year junior cornerback for Rutgers, who mainly plays to the outside but has been used in the slot more as he’s become more experienced. Much like his brother and current Green Bay Packer Bo Melton, Max followed his family’s footsteps to Rutgers, and was an instant contributor.

He is an athletic, quick-footed speedster who can keep up with most wide receivers. Despite not having the stereotypical NFL size for the position, Melton is a man-coverage focused corner who is not afraid to play physically. He can mirror receivers as they release off the line well, but also has the acceleration and recovery speed to get back in position if he makes a mistake. He is very willing to be physical at the line of scrimmage and at the catch point, although bigger and stronger receivers will be able to limit his effectiveness in those scenarios.

Melton does have the ability to play some zone coverage thanks to his athleticism, and has the burst to make plays on the ball from distance if the QB tries to fit it into a tight window. He is a willing tackler and can be a contributor in run defense. Though he is not the strongest player, Melton has a knack for working around WR blocks and is quick to recognize screens and blow them up behind the line. While he can struggle against top competition at times, Melton had a few standout performances. He held his own against Marvin Harrison Jr. last season, for example.

There is a lot that Melton needs to improve upon going forward, however. While he’s a fast mover, he is not fluid and can play too rigid at times. His footwork is not the cleanest, which can put him out of position and forced into tough recovery scenarios. While his athleticism can bail him out of a lot of bad situations, Melton does struggle with zone comprehension and can drift in and out of his zone, leading to easy throwing windows and open receptions much too often.

When the ball is in the air, Melton can make some baffling ball tracking mistakes. On multiple occasions, he’s been in great coverage and tried to make a play on the ball, only to completely whiff and allow the reception. In man coverage, Melton can rely too much on grabbing a hold on a receiver during routes and will get flagged for holding or pass interference.


- Foot quickness

- Good acceleration and speed

- Willing tackler and run defender

- Able to play physical


- Ball tracking concerns

- Lack of fluidity

- Can lose his zones

- Grabby

Final Analysis

Overall, Max Melton is a tweener, man-cover corner that should allow him to have a shot at success at the NFL level. However, he does need to improve his technique, ball tracking and zone instincts to take that next step and become a top CB prospect come April.

Draft 412 Draft Prediction - Round 4

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