NFL personnel evaluator: CB Max Melton will be Cardinals’ ‘X-factor’

May 11, 2024, 7:07 AM

The Arizona Cardinals made sure to leave the 2024 NFL Draft restocked with cornerback talent.

One, however, has turned at least one NFL talent evaluator’s head in former Rutgers CB Max Melton.

In ESPN reporter Jeremy Fowler’s compiling of key intel from around the NFL, Melton more than checks the box in what Arizona needs at the position.

The Cardinals are trying to establish a culture in Year 2 of the Monti Ossenfort-Jonathan Gannon regime, and Rutgers corner Max Melton fits the mold.

The Cardinals valued Melton’s team-first approach, the intangibles that don’t show up on a standard draft profile. He stayed at Rutgers despite NIL opportunities elsewhere, betting big on Greg Schiano’s ability to shepherd defensive backs in the NFL (such as Devin and Jason McCourty and Logan Ryan). And Melton doesn’t view special teams as a chore, but something he loves. He blocked four punts for the Scarlet Knights.

“He’ll be an X factor for them,” an NFL personnel evaluator said.

The 6-foot, 190-pound Melton heads to the desert after spending four seasons at Rutgers.

Across 12 games last year, Melton recorded 32 tackles, four of which were for loss, three interceptions, six passes defensed and a forced fumble.

And as Fowler mentioned, Melton is a willing special teamer.

Among the biggest question marks surrounding the Cardinals entering this season centers around who will take over as CB1.

Veteran Sean Murphy-Bunting is a name to watch. Is Melton the other?

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NFL personnel evaluator: CB Max Melton will be Cardinals’ ‘X-factor’