Bills CB Kaiir Elam on Buffalo: ‘I just felt something special’

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The Buffalo Bills felt good enough about cornerback Kaiir Elam to trade up for him in the first round of the 2022 NFL draft.

The feelings were a bit mutual.

Elam was Buffalo’s selection at No. 23 overall. Both sides confirmed, unsurprisingly, he had a pre-draft visit in Orchard Park.

While on his visit, Elam said he felt the Bills were really interested in him. The Florida prospect explained that there was just something different about the team for him as well.

“I was just so grateful, man, because once I got to Buffalo and did my visit, I just felt something special. I didn’t know what it was. I didn’t know what it could be, but I just felt something special,” Elam said via video conference. “I felt like it was an environment where I could go in and try to compete and learn as much as I can, and just try to have immediate impact right away.”

Just on paper alone there are plenty of things for the Bills to like about Elam.

Elam not only did he run a 4.39 second 40-yard dash time at the combine, he’s also nearly 6-foot-2. That frame comes with 30 7/8 inch arms.

Beane liked the film as much as those numbers.

“He plays in the SEC, which you know is the closest thing to our level,” Beane said via press conference. “He’s gone against some top-tier talent in his career, guys that have already been drafted a year ago. We think he’s got a high ceiling. He’s a younger player. So, we just feel like he’s got a lot of things that he does well.”

At Florida, Elam notched 78 total tackles, including 2.5 for loss, with five interceptions, 20 passes defended and a fumble recovery.

Elam is still young, though. The Bills aren’t going to expect the world out of him right away as Beane referenced improvements in tackles and “some things technique-wise” will be needed out of him.

Plus, that’s not their style.

Beane mentioned that Elam is going to have to earn any playing time he gets next season. The GM said that he really likes Dane Jackson who the Bills already have on their roster as well. Both will get a chance at playing time next to lockdown defender Tre’Davious White.

Sounds like having to earn it is fine, if not welcomed, by Elam.

“I’m super excited to get to work. I told them to put the playbook on a plane. I’m trying to learn as much as I can right away and get better and contribute to the team and strive for an immediate impact right away,” Elam said.

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