Bo Melton and Isiah Pacheco are hoping to become the first pair of teammates from Rutgers to be selected in the same NFL Draft since Blessuan Austin and Saquan Hampton were both picked in the sixth round in 2019. The year before, Kemoko Turay was selected in the second round followed by Sebastian Joseph-Day going in the sixth round. Melton and Pacheco were both class acts throughout their Rutgers career and key figures in the turnaround that’s happened so far under head coach Greg Schiano.
Melton and Pacheco both participated in the NFL combine earlier this month and impressed pro scouts and personnel from multiple teams. They raised their draft profiles by posting the fastest 40 times of any Big Ten players at their respective positions. Melton ran an impressive 4.34 seconds and Pacheco tied for the fastest time run by a running back at 4.37 seconds.
Melton’s speed, route running and versatility makes him a valued prospect that could help teams in multiple ways. He is being projected to go anywhere from the fourth round and as late in the seventh round of mock drafts. It’s possible he could sneak into the third round based on how the wide receiver board is looking at that stage. His value as a special teams player helps his cause as well.
NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein projects Melton to be selected in the sixth round and compares him to Griff Whalen, who played parts of five seasons from 2013-2017 for three teams, most notably the Indianapolis Colts. He caught 51 receptions for 532 yards and 3 touchdowns in his NFL career.
Melton finished his five seasons at Rutgers with 164 catches, 2,011 receiving yards and 14 total touchdowns that included eleven through the air, two on the ground and one on a punt return. Here is a profile on Bo from NBC Philadelphia.
Draft Dreams: The ‘Sweet Feet' of Bo Melton. @getbusy__bo | @NBCPhiladelphia pic.twitter.com/4suqvqA6wk— Rutgers Football (@RFootball) April 28, 2022
Running back Isiah Pacheco is the seventh-leading rusher in Scarlet Knights’ history with 2,442 yards and projects as high as a late round pick to being signed after the draft as an unrestricted free agent. NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein projects Pacheco anywhere from the sixth round to slipping out altogether to be signed as a free agent. He compares him to Mike Gillislee, who ran for 1,291 yards spread over five seasons from 2013-2018, most notably with the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots.
Pacheco’s hard running style and dependability make him a solid option for teams looking to add depth to their running back room. He has overcome plenty of adversity in his life already and this profile from NBC Philadelphia just reinforces what a great example he set at Rutgers.
Draft Dreams: Isiah Pacheco Overcomes Family Tragedies on His Road to the NFL. @isiah_pachecoRB | @NBCPhiladelphia pic.twitter.com/83V3dZlcec— Rutgers Football (@RFootball) April 27, 2022
Hopefully, both Melton and Pacheco hear their name called this weekend during the NFL Draft.
As for other Scarlet Knights with pro dreams, it’s possible Olakunle Fatukasi gets selected late on Saturday. However, it’s more likely he’ll get signed as a free agent right after the NFL Draft. There are several other players that performed well at Rutgers Pro Day who could be signed as free agents after the NFL Draft include Billy Taylor, Julius Turner, Mike Tverdov, Tre Avery, Drew Singleton and Jovani Haskins.
Stay tuned for our NFL Draft coverage this weekend once Rutgers players are either drafted or signed to free agent contracts once it is over.