NFL Analysis


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Max Melton 2024 NFL Draft: Combine Results, Scouting Report For Arizona Cardinals CB

Rutgers Scarlet Knights cornerback Max Melton
Rutgers defensive back Max Melton (DB26) works out during the 2024 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024 NFL Draft is getting close, making it an excellent time to highlight some of the class' best players with scouting reports. Each report will include strengths, weaknesses and background information. 

Here's our report on Max Melton.


  • Height: 5-foot-11
  • Weight: 187
  • 40-yard dash:4.39
  • 10-yard split: 1.51
  • 20-yard shuttle: 4.29 (pro day)
  • Vertical jump: 40.5"
  • Broad jump: 11-foot-4
  • Arm length: 32"



  • Quick, sudden feet with short-area gliding movement and explosive burst to stride to carry vertical routes.
  • Mirror match press man with poise and comfort. Balance and body control to stay in phase through the route.
  • Snaps of aggressive, physical press man where he executed two-hand jams to control and disrupt the receiver's release.
  • Stride length and long speed from press man to run vertically, staying in phase attached to receivers inside hip.
  • Showed physicality through routes, crowding receivers and minimizing separation. Stayed tight on the receiver's hip.
  • Smooth pedal in off coverage with smooth transition and change of direction. Loose hips with easy movement.
  • Foot quickness and smooth transition to plant and drive from off-coverage. Fluid mover with loose hips. 
  • Triggered with willingness and competitiveness as a run defender. A factor in the run game playing outside in.
  • Competitive, tough playing personality. Willing to play aggressively vs. the run. Played above his weight class.


  • At times, his pedal was too upright, which slowed his transitions and direction changes, becoming a little segmented.
  • Some balance issues at times, opening hips turning to run when playing off-coverage. Late reaction to the route.
  • Some press man snaps in which he got back on his heels off the snap and was immediately in recovery mode.
  • Tendency to false step in press at times getting beat off the snap forced into recovery mode on vertical routes.
  • Physical press-man snaps in which he lost contact with the receiver at the top of the route stem, resulting in separation.
  • Struggled to stop when matching vertical releases. Overran break points at the top of the route stem.
  • At times, in press man kept his hands on the receiver too far down the field, resulting in penalties.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights cornerback Max Melton
Rutgers Scarlet Knights defensive back Max Melton (16) defends a pass against Temple Owls wide receiver Adonicas Sanders (5) in the first half at Lincoln Financial Field. Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports


Melton has extensive experience playing outside and the slot, and that positively impacts his projection and transition to the next level, with outside-inside versatility a desired trait. Melton showed quick, sudden feet and movement and loose fluid hips, allowing for easy transitions and direction changes.

What consistently stood out was his aggressiveness and competitiveness in playing mirror match and physical press man coverage, in addition to his willingness to play the run with physicality.

Two areas of concern with Melton in press coverage are his tendency to lose contact with the receiver at the top of the route and an inability to stop when matching vertical releases, resulting in overrunning break points on intermediate routes.

Even though Melton has the athletic traits with his quick feet and significant snaps through his tape of playing press man effectively, some might see him better transitioning to the next level as more of a predominant off-coverage corner with his excellent plant-and-drive ability.

The bottom line with Melton is that he is a higher-level traits prospect who can play press man and off-coverage. Even though he is not quite as big as you’d like, he can play on the outside. Still, he also has extensive experience playing in the slot, and it would not surprise me if teams project him there more.


Melton played four years at Rutgers, becoming a starter in his freshman season and finishing his college career with 40 starts in 43 games.

He played significant snaps outside and in the slot, with a higher percentage of the targets he faced coming on the outside and, more often than not, outside the hash marks.

When he aligned outside, he played to the field and the boundary. There were Cover 2 snaps in which Melton sunk as one of the half-field safeties. Melton was deployed as a blitzer when he was aligned to the boundary.

Against Ohio State, Melton had snaps vs. Marvin Harrison Jr., playing mirror match and press man coverage. Melton matched up effectively, including running stride-for-stride on a vertical route in the fourth quarter. A red zone interception vs. Iowa came with Melton playing off-coverage, reading the quarterback and then driving on the throw.