PFF named a “breakout candidate” for every team in the NFL in 2023. For the Bills, the selection was Kaiir Elam.
Being named that is a bit of a mixed bag for Elam.
Some optimism attached to your future is great. But Elam was a first-round selection by Buffalo in 2022. Most would have thought he would hit the ground running as a rookie but that wasn’t the case.
Instead, Elam was not a week in and week out starter.
At cornerback, Dane Jackson’s 78 percent of snaps played in 2022 led the Bills. Tre’Davious White’s knee injury must be kept in mind, but most would have expected Elam to lead the way without White, not Jackson. Prior to his wrist injury, Christian Benford was seeing a healthy amount of snaps, too.
Regardless, Elam is still going to get another clear-cut look at snaps next season. Not only because of his first rounder status, but it came right from Brandon Beane. The Bills GM noted that Elam is going to be relied on more going forward, paving the way for a potential breakout year.
For more on Elam, PFF’s breakdown can be found below:
Despite being a first-round pick in 2022, Elam failed to become a starting cornerback by the start of the season and had an inconsistent rookie year. However, as a former first-round pick, he should have plenty of opportunities to win that position battle. He also finished the season strong, flipping his 56.7 PFF grade in the regular season to 87.1 in two playoff games, a mark that would have ranked second among cornerbacks in the regular season.