Aaron Mellette: 5 Things You Need to Know About the Elon WR
The road from a Football Championship Subdivision school to the NFL is a journey rarely completed.
Elon University wide receiver Aaron Mellette finds himself on the brink of an NFL career opportunity, as his draft stock is on the rise.
One of the best receivers in the FCS, Mellette should be showing up on plenty of NFL draft boards. The 6'3" receiver finished his collegiate career with three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and 44 touchdowns.
Here are five things you need to know about the former Elon wide receiver.
Aaron Mellette's Background
Full name: Aaron Mellette
Birthday: December 28, 1989
Hometown: Sanford, North Carolina
High School: Southern Lee High School
Major: Sport and Event Management
Aaron Mellette grew up in Sanford, North Carolina. Located about 40 miles southwest of Raleigh and 50 miles southeast of Greensboro. Only 33 miles from Chapel Hill, he grew up in the heart of basketball country.
During his senior year in high school, Mellette signed a letter of intent to play football at Elon University, home of the Phoenix. There he was a three-year starter at wide receiver.
Elon University is a member of the Southern Conference in the Football Championship Subdivision.
Aaron Mellette's Statistics at Elon University
As a freshman, Aaron Mellette did not make a single start for the Elon Phoenix in 2009. He finished with only eight receptions for 117 yards. However, in a sign of things to come, two of his eight receptions were for touchdowns. Once he broke into the starting lineup, he would become a touchdown machine.
From 2010 to 2012, he led Elon in receptions and touchdowns.
Despite playing in the Football Championship Subdivision, Mellette has the size for which plenty of NFL teams would be willing to use a mid- to late-round draft pick.
Aaron Mellette Receiving Statistics:
In three of his four years at Elon he was named to the All-Southern Conference First Team. He was twice awarded First-Team FCS All-American honors in 2011 and 2012, and in 2010 he was named to the FCS All-American Second Team.
Following his senior year, he was invited to play in the 2013 Senior Bowl as a member of the North roster. Among the 12 wide receivers who participated in the game, Mellette ranks right in the middle of them, according to Walter Football.
Unfortunately, Mellette did not make a catch in the game.
Draft Process and Prospects
Weight: 217 pounds
Arm Length: 33 1/8"
Hand Size: 9 5/8"
Aaron Mellette became a blip on NFL teams' radar screens following his junior season at Elon.
In 2011 Aaron Mellette was awarded the wide receiver FCS Football Performance Award. That season he finished with 113 receptions for 1,639 yards and 12 touchdowns.
He was invited to participate in the 2013 NFL Combine in February. According to NFL Draft Scout, Mellette is ranked the 19th-best wide receiver in the draft and 167th overall.
Aaron Mellette 2013 NFL Combine Results:
40-yard dash: 4.54 seconds
20-yard dash: 2.50 seconds
10-yard dash: 1.60 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 4.41 seconds
225-pound bench reps: 9
3-cone drill: 7.11 seconds
Vertical jump: 33.5"
Broad jump: 10'3"
One of the questions surrounding Mellette is whether he has the speed to create separation in the NFL. Among the top 20 wide receivers, as ranked by NFL Draft Scout, his time in the 40 ranked 11th.
Mellette was one of three players from Elon who worked out for their pro day. He also worked out at North Carolina State's pro day in March.
Growing up in Sanford, Aaron Mellette preferred playing basketball over football. It was not until his sophomore year that he started to play football. That year he played on the junior varsity team.
While he shined at Elon University, leading the team in receiving in his three seasons as a starter, from the Phoenix finished with a 14-19 record.
During his senior season, the team fell to 3-8 with a 1-7 record in the Southern Conference. Only Western Carolina, Elon's lone conference win, finished lower in the standings.
As stated on a previous slide, Mellette had the 11th-best time in the 40 among the top 20 wide receivers as noted by NFL Draft Scout. Expanding that list to the top 30 wide receivers, only three receivers who are as tall or taller than Mellette were faster:
Justin Hunter from Tennessee (6'4" and 196 pounds) ran the 40 in 4.36 seconds, Aaron Dobson from Marshall (6'3" and 210 pounds) and Rodney Smith from Florida State (6'5" and 225 pounds) ran the 40 in 4.43 seconds.
Mellette is projected as a fifth-round draft pick. Since the draft was reduced to seven rounds in 1994, there have been 74 wide receivers taken in the fifth round.
There are several receivers selected in the fifth round who have had decent NFL careers. Some of these include Joe Horn (selected by Kansas City in 1996), Steve Breaston (Arizona in 2007), Bobby Wade (Chicago in 2003) and Dante Hall (Kansas City 2000).
Observations Across the Web
It would seem that Aaron Mellette has drawn quite a bit of interest from NFL teams in search of a mid- to late-round sleeper. The problem with so many teams interested in him is it's now difficult to call him a sleeper.
Pat Yasinskas, who covers the NFC South for ESPN, tweeted on April 13 that the Panthers also had a private workout with Mellette.
An article by Aaron Wilson from The Baltimore Sun indicates the Super Bowl Champion Ravens are also showing an interest in Mellette. There have been some comparisons to their departed wide receiver Anquan Boldin. Both players are listed at 218 pounds, but at 6'3", Mellette is two inches taller than Boldin.
There's little doubt that with so much interest, he will be drafted—it's just a matter of when.
According to Walter Football, Mellette is the 17th-ranked wide receiver in the upcoming draft, projected to be selected anywhere from the third to fifth round.