Since joining the Big Ten, there has been some questions, and many doubts, about Rutgers’ ability to develop players into NFL-caliber talents.
That notion should be put to bed over the next few years and it begins with Bo Melton and Isaih Pacheco this year.
The Scarlet Knights have two skill position players present in Indianapolis during the NFL Combine and they are both putting on a show to this point. Melton and Pacheco are showing that the coaching staff at Rutgers has what it takes to take players to the next level. both Melton and Pacheco showed great bursts and agility during their time at Rutgers and that is being highlighted at the combine, beginning with the 40-yard dash.
Pacheco ran a 4.37 on Friday, which is tied for the fastest time by a running back at this year’s combine. He ended his career as the seventh-leading rusher in Scarlet Knights’ history with 2,442 yards.
Melton and Pacheco are the first Rutgers’ players to appear at the combine since Kemoko Turay in 2018. Pacheco has had conversations with teams such as the Green Bay Packers, Arizona Cardinals, and Pittsburgh Steelers. Melton is likely to have plenty of interest around the league.
Melton emerged as a true No. 1 receiver for Rutgers over the last two years. He ended his college career ranked sixth in program history with 164 career receptions and 10th with 2,011 receiving yards. Not only is Melton a talented receiver, but he is willing to move around the field. He has the ability to carry the ball and can be featured both in the slot and on the outside.
When looking at his speed, Melton should find a spot on an NFL team. This was a goal of his coming in and Melton did not disappoint. He tan a 4.34 on his second attempt in the 40-yard dash.
Melton and Pacheco have a chance to be the first Rutgers’ players drafted since Blessuan Austin in 2019. To go along with his 40 time, Melton logged a 38-inch vertical jump and a 10′1″ broad jump, both up there with the top wide receiver contingent in Indianapolis.
Bo’s brother, Max Melton, made a name for himself as a shutdown corner for the Scarlet Knights this season. The family connection is strong and he has been sharing videos of his brother throughout his combine performance.
Melton and Pacheco are just two players from the 2021 Scarlet Knights that might have a future at the next level. They posted the fastest 40 times of any Big Ten players at their respective positions. If they are able to get drafted and make an impact in the NFL, this would go a long way to show that Greg Schiano and his staff can develop players in Piscataway.