Buffalo Bills quick reaction NFL Draft grades 2022: Kaiir Elam

Kaiir Elam, Florida (Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Kaiir Elam, Florida (Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /

With the 23rd pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills selected Kaiir Elam, out of the University of Florida.

The Bills had to trade up with the Baltimore Ravens to obtain Elam, as they surrender only the 25th pick and a fourth-round selection. It was no secret that Buffalo needed to add a corner opposite Tre’Davious White, and they found themselves a solid one in Elam to boost their secondary.

Kaiir Elam already has some lineage in the NFL, as his uncle Matt Elam used to play for the Baltimore Ravens from 2013 to 2016. Additionally, his father Abram played college ball at Notre Dame and Kent State. Elam has enjoyed a solid college career with the Florida Gators, accumulating five interceptions and twenty pass deflections as he showed all the makings of a shutdown corner.

Sadly, Elam was underwhelming in his final college season; despite making ten starts, he missed three games due to a knee injury. His on-field play in 2021 wasn’t up to par compared to seasons past, but he still showed plenty of promise for his NFL career.

Grade for the Buffalo Bills selection of Kaiir Elam: B+

There is a lot to like about Elam’s game, as he is a patient press corner who offers good physicality. He is very aggressive and speedy as well, and his ball skills are above-average. There will be times, however, where he’ll get handsy downfield, and he may be a liability in zone coverage when facing a speedy opposing wide receiver.

With Elam and Clemson’s Andrew Booth still on the board, the Bills had to draft a cornerback right away. One might insist that giving up a fourth-round pick to Baltimore wasn’t necessary, and there is an argument to be had.

Must Read. Ranking the five best moves this offseason for the Buffalo Bills. light

Regardless, Buffalo has secured a running mate for Tre’Davious White in Elam, whose physicality and skill in the press game are sure to entice defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. As long as Elam and a healthy White are on the field together, opposing quarterbacks may find it difficult to pass against this cornerback tandem for years to come.