NEXT ON OUR SCOUTING REPORTS IS KAIIR ELAM. CHECK OUT SOME OF OUR OTHER SCOUTING REPORTS BELOW
- Height: 6’2
- Weight: 193 lbs
- College: University of Florida
- Year: Junior
- Position: Cornerback
The last two Drafts have seen a glut of quality wide receivers enter the NFL. Perhaps it is to be expected then that, as a reaction, the cornerback position group will catch up. Teams looking for a quality cornerback in the 2022 Draft may be spolit for choice and Kaiir Elam will be towards the top of most teams draft boards.
Kaiir Elam is a Florida native with a High School background in track athletics and basketball. But, it was as a cornerback where he excelled. He has strong family connections to the game. Kaiir’s father Abe played several seasons in the league. His uncle, Matt Elam, was a 1st round draft pick in 2013 and played three seasons at strong safety for the Baltimore Ravens.
A 4* recruit coming out of high school, Kaiir Elam received several College offers but chose to follow in his uncle’s footsteps and stay in his home state. Opting for the University of Florida. The decision payed off immediately as Elam quickly settled into the Florida Gators secondary.
From his 2019 season (8 games, 2 interceptions, 4 deflected) Freshman All-SEC honours came. In 2020 he progressed to the top CB at Florida (CJ Henderson was drafted by the Jaguars). He welcomed the additional responsibility and his production increased leading to first team All-SEC honours.
So far in 2021 Elam has had to deal with some adversity. A knee-injury in mid-September caused him to miss three games and the Florida defense has continued to be largely disappointing. However, when he has been on the field, Elam has remained one of the shining lights in the Gators season.
Watch the video below which shows off Elam’s superb ball skills!
- Ball skills
Kairr Elam possesses that much coveted set of athletic traits combining his height, excellent reach and terrific short-range speed closing on the ball. He has the ability to disrupt receivers at the last second in a “now you see it, now you don’t” fashion. His height and length are a great advantage and he has developed a good-sized frame to help him compete physically on every play. In 2020 he registered the 4th highest number of pass breakups in College Football.
A keen competitor he relishes the challenge of playing “on an island” and wants to lockdown his side of the field. Elam plays with plenty of aggression either in competing with his receiver or against the run game.
His strongest situation may be at the point of catch where he can combine his length, his aggression and his excellent ball skills. Elam’s high school background included time at wide receiver and this is evident in his timing and ball location. If he can continue to develop then he may prove to be a cornerback capable of creating turnovers on a regular basis.
At the moment he is best suited in press coverage where he can match up against a receiver of similar size where he can get involved in a physical contest for every ball. In these instances Elam will back himself to dominate, and to this point he often succeeds.
- Off-man situations
Kaiir Elam plays with great aggression and anticipation but when this spills over it poses the usual problems for developing cornerbacks at this level. The aggression in jamming in and around the line of scrimmage can lead to over-active “grabby” handling of the receiver.
His anticipation and play recognition can result in him biting on false moves which sometimes his short-burst speed cannot recover. He had a couple of long TDs given up in 2020 resulting from these issues, although this has not been evident in 2021.
His preference is to play in man-to-man coverage, a sticky cornerback, never allowing his receiver the room to breathe let alone catch a ball. Therefore, it is when he ends up in more open field situations that he can struggle. If a more twitchy receiver can achieve separation then Elam can be exposed, as his longer range speed is not elite. Elam will have to get used to the greater degree of trickery that the best NFL offenses can conjure up, particularly in terms of disguised route running.
His short-area speed and fluidity of movement can rescue him at times when he finds himself out of position. However, on occasion, it is evident that his tackling relies on his aggression and athleticism and technique in this area will need to be refined as he develops.
It is important to note that Kaiir Elam’s rise to CB1 at Florida has been rapid. He is only 20 years old and will turn 21 after next year’s draft. This is only his first year of draft eligibility. Although barring any further injuries or loss of form. expect that he will declare for the 2022 draft.
It is also worth remembering that he will enter the NFL after a thorough examination of his skillset going up regularly against the other SEC powerhouses such as Alabama, Georgia and LSU. Elam is a young, talented, battle-hardened warrior of a cornerback with production that will make him in demand for many NFL teams.
Feature Image Credit: 247Sports
Video Credit: Prince Highlights & ESPN College Football on YouTube.