NFL Draft Pick No. 25: Buffalo Bills – Kaiir Elam, Cornerback, Florida
Buffalo has one of the best teams in a very competitive AFC, but they’re going to be facing quite a few elite defenses in their conference. Levi Wallace is gone, so the Bills desperately need an upgrade across from Tre’Davious White.
Kaiir Elam was on the bubble to being a first-round pick due to his speed concerns, but running faster than anticipated in the NFL Combine has really helped him. He looks more likely than not to be selected on Thursday night.
Elam isn’t what you would call a statistically accomplished player at Florida, recording only one interception and five passes defended across 10 games, but he’s an aggressive corner who has compatibility with either a man or a zone-based coverage system.
Elam’s aggressiveness really shows up on tape when he’s in press coverage. His tenacity and ball skills (don’t let the relative lack of interceptions fool you, it’s a strength of his) make him a threat on defense in these instances, and he only needs one chance to make a play.
There are some concerns about his speed still, and speedier receivers will still pose a possible mismatch against him. But his combine time will give teams some hope that this won’t be the problem that was feared for him.