Kaiir Elam 2022 NFL Draft Profile: Everything you need to know about the Jets potential target

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  • New York Jets
    New York Jets
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Kaiir Elam
    American football cornerback
  • Matt Elam
    Matt Elam
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  • Abram Elam
    American football player
Florida CB Kaiir Elam treated image
Florida CB Kaiir Elam treated image

As things stand, it looks like the Jets could have two top 10 selections in the 2022 NFL Draft that could bring them some cornerstone talents as they continue to rebuild.

With the draft approaching, we're taking an in-depth look at some potential options for the Jets. Here’s a look at Florida cornerback Kaiir Elam ...

By the Numbers

- Height: 6-foot-2
- Weight:
193 pounds
- 40-yard dash:
4.51 seconds (in high school)
- Stats:
78 tackles in 30 career games. Five interceptions, 20 passes defensed, one fumble recovery and 2.5 tackles for loss."
- Accolades & Awards:
2019 SEC all-Freshman team, all-SEC second-team selection (2020).

Prospect Overview

The Draft Network: At the next level, Elam’s best fit will come on a defense that plays primarily zone and press coverage, where his length, athleticism, physicality in coverage, eye discipline, and ball skills shine best. […] Elam has the makeup of a quality NFL starter early in his career and certainly by year two or three. If used correctly, he can be an impact starter.

Pro Football Network: As is always the case with cornerbacks, the first item that demands attention is Elam’s physical profile. He’s a long defender, standing at around 6’2″, 193 pounds, and yet, he moves extremely well […] As it stands, Elam is already a fairly sticky man coverage cornerback. With further refinement of his footwork, his combination of length, mobility, and ball skills could be a death knell for opposing receivers. It could also eventually earn him the CB1 designation.

Why Elam makes sense for Jets

The Jets coaching staff are pleased with how their young cornerbacks – Bryce Hall, Michael Carter II and Brandin Echols – have developed so far this season, but it is tantalizing to think what they could do with a more highly-rated prospect with an even higher ceiling.

The Jets could, therefore, be in the market for one of the top cornerbacks and, while Derek Stingley Jr. is currently regarded by many as the top cornerback in the draft, Elam could potentially be an option if Stingley has already been selected when the Jets are on the clock with one of their first-round selections.

Elam has the athletic ability and technical foundation to develop into a top-level starter, but what sets him apart from other prospects is his instinctiveness. He has good route recognition, the burst to jump routes and an ability to go after the ball aggressively having previously been a wide receiver.

In Robert Saleh’s defensive system, you need to be able to play in off-coverage or up at the line and it requires athleticism and intelligence. Elam is versatile enough to handle these roles and stepped straight into the starting line-up as a true freshman which speaks to his adaptability.

As with Stingley, there are some minor durability concerns with Elam, who was banged up throughout the 2021 season, which affected his production. His long speed is also a concern among some experts, but he can put that to rest with a fast time in the 40-yard dash at the combine.

Elam has a strong connection to the Jets, because his father – Abram Elam – started 17 games at safety for the team in 2007 and 2008. He has a strong NFL pedigree because his uncle, Matt Elam, was also a former first-round pick in 2013. Furthermore, the team that picked him was the Baltimore Ravens, for whom current Jets general manager Joe Douglas was a key scout at the time.

NFL Comp

The Draft Network: Carlton Davis