What the scouts say about Bills first-rounder, CB Kaiir Elam
Where one scout says “I think he’s the best corner," another calls Elam "soft." Here is how the NFL views Buffalo's new cornerback.
(Note: With our heavy number of Bills fans who subscribe, we wanted to pass along the extended scouting reports on their top pick. Bob’s full nine-part series can be read at GoLongTD.com.)
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Kaiir Elam, a cornerback from Florida, was the Buffalo Bills’ selection with the 23rd pick of the NFL draft.
KAIIR ELAM, CB, Florida
Height: 6-1 ½.
Hometown: Riviera Beach, Fla.
Fact/stat: Third-year junior … Barely played in 2019, part-time player in ’20 and starter in ’21 …Finished with five interceptions and 14 passes defensed.
What NFL scouts told me about him before the draft…
AFC scout: “He ran a lot faster than I thought he would. He’s a big kid that can play press well.”
NFC scout: “I think he could sneak into the first because he’s big, he ran fast and he’s got bloodlines. Good kid. Smart. I know not everybody’s in love with his tape but I think he’ll be a better pro than he was as a college player.”
AFC scout: “I think he’s the best corner. Good size, super athletic. He can do everything athletically as far as speed and recovery. He’s got poise. He has the ability to play the ball. His cover skills are exceptional. If you’re going to knock him a little bit, he’s not a great (run) support guy. He’s not real aggressive or strong, but he’s athletic enough when he wants to do it. His character is really good. Pretty good shot for the top 15.”
NFC scout: “He’s a soft player. Lacks the ability to tackle in the open field. Great kid. Soft player. Second round.”
AFC scout: “There’s technique, and then the top-end speed was questioned. Then when he ran the 4.4 it kind of alleviated some of the top-end speed stuff. The thing with him is technique. He can get grabby at the top of routes. There’s some penalty stuff on him with holding. I didn’t get him as a soft run defender. It was nothing more or less than any other corner.”
NFC scout: “He’s talented. Not silky smooth in his movements but he’s explosive and he’s a real good athlete. He plays with a lot of damn confidence and swag. He’s got excellent feel. He jumps routes. He tends to drift some. Bump skills are good. He can run support but he’s less to be desired in the run game. He’s one of those guys that says, ‘Y’all go do that. I gotta tackle? All right, let me jump down on the ground.’ He’s first-round talent. It’s where his mind is.”
AFC scout: “Not in the first round. I just don’t think he’s a playmaker. I did his damn dad (Abe). He wasn’t worth a shit.”
AFC scout: “He was the best corner I saw. I estimated his speed at 4.55. Needs to be more physical against the run. Was excellent against Alabama.”
NFC scout: “He wouldn’t hit the ground if he fell out of bed. Nobody cares anymore but very, very, very marginal against the run. Nonexistent. He’s got some real talent. He’s more talented than (Ahmad) Gardner. Real good to exceptional athlete. Has the size and length for a starting NFL corner. He has marginal strength and effort against the run. Top of the second round.”
NFC scout: “He’s kind of intriguing because of his length (30 7/8 arms) and his speed.”