- Height: 6’2″
- Weight: 196 pounds
- arms: 30 7/8 inches
- hands: 8 7/8 inches
- 40 yard dash: 4.39 seconds
*Did not participate in other drills at the NFL Combine
Sep 18, 2021; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators safety Kaiir Elam (5) against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
A native of Riviera Beach, Florida, Elam was a three-sport athlete at the Benjamin School. In addition to starring on the football field, Elam also excelled at basketball and running track. His senior year of high school included 71 tackles, three sacks and nine interceptions which led him to earn Palm Beach Defensive Football Player of the Year. Coming out of high school, Elam was the sixth-ranked cornerback.
Elam is the nephew of former NFL safety Matt Elam, who spent three seasons in the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens. Additionally, Elam’s father, Abram, attended Kent State and Notre Dame, before a seven-year NFL career that included stops in Cleveland, Dallas and the New York Jets.
- Size and strength to compete in press coverage
- Deep speed to remain in receivers’ hip pocket
- Can turn hips quickly and easily to adjust during the route
- Patient not to bite on double moves
- Big frame allows him to contest jump balls
- Moves extremely well for his size
- Can play press, zone, or off coverage
- Great footwork
- Improved every year at Florida
- Strong football IQ
Scroll to Continue
Florida Gators cornerback Kaiir Elam (5) breaks up a pass during the football game between the Florida Gators and The Alabama Crimson Tide, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Fla. Sept 18, 2021.
- Can be an inconsistent tackler
- Got lazy on his technique in the 2021 season
- Often takes poor angles to tackle
- Go-routes often leave him behind in man coverage
- Often grabs when he is beat on a play
- Lots of separation early in the route
Fit with the Chargers
Elam’s skill set and pure physical traits make him tempting for all teams. At 6’2” with 4.4 speed, Elam could help lock down some of the most explosive receivers in the AFC West. Elam, who will be just 20 on draft day, offers a high ceiling with the potential to grow into a shutdown NFL cornerback.
The Chargers already have newly acquired JC Jackson, Michael Davis, and Asante Samuel Jr. penciled in at the three starting cornerback spots. While cornerback may not be as important as another wide receiver or offensive linemen, Brandon Staley has emphasized the importance of adding cornerback depth. If the Chargers were to trade back later into the first round, I think Elam could be a prime target for them.
Projected draft slot: late first-round pick to early second-round pick
NFL comparison: Antonio Cromartie
More from Charger Report
Nick Cothrel is the publisher of Charger Report. Follow Nick and Charger Report on Twitter @NickCothrel & @ChargerReport for more Chargers coverage.