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Which All-Pro cornerback did Brian Baldinger just compare Rutgers’ Max Melton to?

NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger has hesitation in comparing Max Melton to one of the NFL’s top cornerbacks in Darius Slay. Melton, a former defensive back at Rutgers, landed in a spot with the Cardinals in the NFL draft where he projects to get a lot of snaps.

The Cardinals selected Melton in the second round of April’s NFL draft, taking him No. 43 overall. At Rutgers, Melton was a multi-year starter who was an All-Big Ten selection at defensive back.

Baldinger, an analyst with the NFL Network who spent 12 years in the NFL as a standout offensive lineman, believes that Melton is a good fit with the Cardinals.

And he likened Melton to Slay, an All-Pro cornerback with the Philadelphia Eagles who has been a Pro Bowl selection six times in his NFL career.

“I mean, he just loves to compete. And honestly, when I watch him, he reminds me of a very young Darius Slay – they are almost identical in all their measurements,” Baldinger told Rutgers Wire in an interview last week.

“Max….is not as tall but every bit as fast.  I mean all the measurables are very, very consistent and when I watched Darius as a young player in Detroit, I remember how aggressive. He wasn’t the tackler that Max is but he would challenge any receiver. If he was scrimmaging Pittsburgh he wanted Antonio Brown every play. So that’s kind of what it reminds me of Max = he wants their number one receiver inside, outside, wherever you are. And I think that’s what Arizona was getting. I think that’s what they liked about him.”

This past season, Rutgers had a halftime lead over Ohio State before falling 35-16. One of the reasons why Rutgers very nearly upset the third-best team in the nation at the time was Melton’s performance against Marvin Harrison Jr.

Harrison, ironically a first round pick of the Cardinals, won the Fred Biletnikoff Award last year last year as college football’s best wide receiver.

Melton held Harrison to four catches for 25 receiving yards. It was the Ohio State standout’s second-lowest receiving tally of the season.

Baldinger thinks Melton landed in the NFL draft in a spot where he can be developed and compete for playing time.

“I thought he went to a good spot, number one, Arizona has built this thing piece by piece. I thought it was pretty interesting – he went at No. 43,” Baldinger said.

“Cooper DeJean, who a lot of people thought was a top three corner – he went 40. So it looks like (Melton) is in the top five. I mean, I thought he was a good player. I mean, obviously, he’s very, very aggressive. He’s a very good tackler. He refuses to be blocked on the perimeter. But I think his ball skills are as good as anybody in this whole business. And you know, he really challenges receiver – Marvin Harrison right up in his grill. He looks like he’s got the mindset to be a very good corner in this business.”

Story originally appeared on Rutgers Wire