Raiders place top draft pick Obi Melifonwu on IR

If the Oakland Raiders are going to contend for a conference title this season, the team will need improved play from its secondary. It’s an area the Raiders refused to address in free agency, instead opting to use their first two picks on defensive backs in April’s draft.

Now, it looks like at least one of those players will miss the 2017 season.

The Raiders announced on Tuesday that rookie second-round pick, safety Obi Melifonwu, has been placed on injured reserve.

A hard-hitting safety from Connecticut, Oakland was expecting¬†Melifonwu to play a huge role in a defense the Raiders hope will improve off last season’s No. 24 ranking against the pass.

To make matters more interesting (and potentially more dire here), rookie first-round pick¬†Gareon Conley missed a bulk of the Raiders’ off-season program dealing with an injury himself. If neither of these players are going to make an impact this season, it’s going to be incredibly difficult for Oakland to contend with the defending champion New England Patriots in the AFC. That’s the harsh reality of the situation.