The Buffalo Bills selected cornerback Kaiir Elam with the No. 23 pick in the NFL draft. The Bills wanted to make sure they got Elam: They traded up with the Baltimore Ravens, sending the No. 25 and No. 130 picks to Baltimore.
Here are five things to know about the Bills’ newest corner.
At 6-foot-1½, 191-pounder, the 20-year-old Elam finished his Florida career with six interceptions in 35 games. He also had 79 tackles, 26 assists defended and one fumble recovery. He started 10 games in 2021 and recorded 29 tackles, six assists defended and one interception.
1. Football family: Elam hails from a family with a lot of football experience. His dad, Abram, played in the NFL for seven years, after playing collegiately at Notre Dame and Kent State. His uncle, Matt Elam, was a first-round pick of the Ravens in 2013. Kaiir thinks that the opportunity to learn from his family and hear their constructive how helped prepare him.
2. Junior years: Elam had a strong season his junior year, where he started 10 games, had six passes defended and one interception. He had a slight dip his senior season, but GM Brandon Beane says it’s something they’ve already tackled through, and that the way he’s used in a defense could get him back toward his junior year production. “His tackling at times was a little bit shaky. We talked to him about it, and part of it, he felt was the way they were asking him to do,” Beane said. “There are some technical-wise things that we’ll have him work on and clean up. But he’s a great young man.” Late Thursday, All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman tweeted of Elam, “With that coaching he’s going to thrive. Has flaws that are correctable. Look forward to see how this works out.”
People are also reading…
The Bills have added a cornerback with elite physical talent in Kaiir Elam. The move gives the Bills some peace of mind.
3. Freshman experience: Elam got involved in the Gators’ defense early. As a true freshman, he had three interceptions, four passes defended, and 11 tackles, and he appeared in all 13 games with five starts. He was named to the Coaches Freshman All-Southeastern Conference team for his performance, and those years of experience going up against top receivers helped land him in Buffalo.
4. A number of braces: In his sophomore season, Elam was named first-team All-Southeastern Conference. Elam was also a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award in 2020, which is given to the top defensive back in college football each season. Off the field, he earned SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll as a freshman.
Here’s a look at our coverage leading up to the NFL draft, which begins on Thursday, April 28, 2022.
5. Florida through and through: Elam is not only a Florida Gator, he’s also a Florida native. He’s from Riviera Beach and attended Benjamin High School. Elam spent draft night at a family friend’s house in Juno Beach, Fla. At Benjamin, he had 71 tackles, nine interceptions and three sacks. He also played wide receiver and compiled 97 catches for 1,490 yards and 15 touchdowns over four years on varsity.