CB Kaiir Elam, Florida*

6’2” – 193 lbs.

Background:

Father Abram and uncle Matt were also pro football players. Florida native who started five games as a true freshman, finishing with 11 tackles, three interceptions, and four breakups. Added another 39 tackles, two interceptions, and thirteen breakups in 2020, then posted 29 tackles, one pick, and five breakups over ten games this past season before declaring.

Positives:

Has pro bloodines and over two years of starting experience for a major program. Very tall, long-limbed corner who lined up on both sides of the defense, and occasionally even in the slot. Plays with the type of swagger teams look for at the position. Most frequently played press-man, but shows clean footwork when backpedaling or shuffling. Does a nice job of matching releases at the line of scrimmage with his footwork. Has the temperament and physical tools to jam releases at the line. Uses his hands well to feel routes developing. Does a nice job of using his length to his advantage, especially when covering down the sidelines, or in terms of breaking up throws with his swipe. Processes route combinations well in zone coverage when he gets enough depth. Gets his head around to locate when his back is turned. Capable of locking out opponents with his arms in the run game.

Negatives:

Can get too physical downfield, leading to penalties; relies too heavily on aggressiveness to disrupt opponents. Could do a better job of squeezing routes breaking over the middle. Not the twitchiest player; best when he’s got his hands on an opponent or when he has enough depth to keep everything in front of him. A little bit of a hitch/some wasted motion in his transition when transitioning from working backward to driving. Some miscommunications in zone, but it was unclear whether those were his fault; looks like he can lose track of receivers behind him in zone, and lacks the recovery speed to get back in position. Not a particularly good tackler, especially given his size and length.

Summary:

A big, confident, and physical corner who can match releases and disrupt opposing receivers with his length out of press-man coverage, or work in zone with a shuffle technique. Quicker and faster than is typical for a player with rare size such as his, and is currently getting first-round buzz. However, will need to keep his physicality in check down the field in order to avoid getting penalized at the next level, and doesn’t tackle as well as a bigger guy should. Has starting-caliber talent if he can put everything together.

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