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Matt Elam | Safety

Team: Florida Gators
Ht / Wt:  5'10' / 206

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Ravens selected Florida S Matt Elam with the No. 32 overall pick.
The final pick of the first round should start opposite Michael Huff after the Ravens moved on from Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard. Elam (5-10, 208) made 26 starts for Florida, logging 23.5 career tackles for loss, six picks and three forced fumbles. He ran a 4.54 forty-yard dash at the Combine, and posted a 35.5-inch vertical. Elam offers top-notch ball skills and is a striker in the run game. He garnered pre-draft comparisons to Bob Sanders for his size and physicality. Elam covered slot receivers in Florida's nickel defense, but will struggle to match up with much taller tight ends in the NFL. Thu, Apr 25, 2013 11:45:00 PM

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The Chicago Tribune's Dan Pompei writes that some scouts like Florida S Matt Elam more than Texas S Kenny Vaccaro.

'"He's not the biggest, but he does not play small," one respected talent evaluator said,' Pompei writes. Vaccaro is widely regarded as the top prospect in this year's draft class but apparently not to everyone. Elam is a smaller prospect that is better in run fits but has more fundamental problems in coverage. Vaccaro is expected to be draft in the first-round and go before Elam.
Tue, Apr 23, 2013 07:39:00 PM

New England Patriots GM Nick Caserio said the defensive backs group is deep and versatile.

"I think one of the things that’s probably unique about that position is that you’ve seen a few more players that have actually played multiple positions. Some have played safety, some have played corner, some have played a nickel position like the Matt Elam kid," Caserio said. "There are versatile players in the defensive backfield position that are not necessarily confined to one particular spot. ... I think there’s some depth and some versatility at that position." It's interesting that Caserio name-dropped Elam's name, as the Patriots have a fascination with Florida Gators.
Tue, Apr 23, 2013 06:51:00 PM

NFL Network's Mike Mayock says he "likes" Florida S Matt Elam as a first-round pick.

Mayock said, "Only real downside is his height. Positive side, kid that tackles, tough, cares. I think he plays a lot of years." Elam's a talented player but needs to play under more control and with better fundamentals. He could be a fit as a box safety in sub-packages.
Thu, Apr 18, 2013 04:55:00 PM

Florida S Matt Elam will visit the Cincinnati Bengals on April 11.

The Bengals are in need of safeties and Elam may be an option. They seem to like physical safeties and that's what Elam is. He can come down into the box and play the run. He's a question mark in coverage however, as he doesn't always play fundamentally sound and lacks great height.
Wed, Apr 10, 2013 09:33:00 AM

Florida S Matt Elam will visit the Titans on Wednesday.

We doubt Elam is considered a selection at No. 10. Many love Elam's physical nature as an in the box safety. However, we question his play to play consistency and think he might struggle to cover larger targets downfield.
Tue, Apr 9, 2013 05:04:00 PM

NFL Films' Greg Cosell writes that NFL teams will view Florida S Matt Elam as a Bob Sanders type.

"In the base defense, he played both single high and 2-deep. It was not hard to like Elam. He was active, aggressive and competitive," Cosell wrote. "He covered, and he hit, with striking ability and force. He flashed explosive traits as an athletic and physical defender with multiple and interchangeable attributes to play effectively both in the box, and deep. The one concern, and it returns to what I discussed earlier, is man coverage versus tight ends. That’s where his lack of height comes into play. Elam is one of several players whose draft position I am anxious to see. Will teams see him as a Bob Sanders type player whose overall impact outweighs his potential coverage limitation? My guess is, yes."
Tue, Apr 9, 2013 01:12:00 PM

ESPN's Herm Edwards believes that Florida S Matt Elam's "isn't that big of a negative, but he'll struggle matching up against tight ends at the NFL level."

Many have listed this as perhaps Elam's biggest negative, since he does his best work near the line of scrimmage. Just like Edwards, some question if Elam can match up physically against bigger targets in the box, but out questions don't end there. Safeties are always difficult to evaluate due to a lack of information of their scheme, but we would like to see Elam give more consistent effort outside of when his number is called.
Source: ESPN
Mon, Mar 25, 2013 04:44:00 PM

National Football Post's Russ Lande writes that Florida S Matt Elam was tight in the hips at his pro day.

"During his workout at the Pro Day, Elam displayed a little tightness in his hips and was not as quick or smooth flipping hips and changing directions as elite safeties usually are," Lande said. "Obviously, Elam’s lack of ideal size is an issue for NFL teams and the hip tightness he showed in his workout raises concerns about if he has the top level athleticism to make up for that lack of size. Teams definitely are impressed with his competitiveness, football intelligence and aggressive playing style, which should keep him from sliding out of the second day of the 2013 NFL Draft."
Sat, Mar 16, 2013 08:06:00 PM

Florida S Matt Elam looked "tremendous" during his pro day workout, according to draft insider Tony Pauline.

Pauline tweeted that Elam showed "great range" and "lateral movement" while standing on his numbers from the Combine. There's a lot of buzz around Elam, who puts together one heck of a highlight reel, and we wouldn't be surprised if he earns a first-round selection.
Tue, Mar 12, 2013 01:58:00 PM

NFL Network's Mike Mayock compared Florida S Matt Elam to San Francisco 49ers S Donte Whitner.

The comparison is an apt one, as both players have questions in coverage. Like Whitner, Elam has played in the slot but is on the small side and struggles in coverage at times as a result. The two players also have issues as deep half defenders, with Elam failing to take proper angles on a consistent basis.
Source: NFL.com
Tue, Feb 26, 2013 06:27:00 PM

Florida S Matt Elam ran an unofficial forty of 4.46, with a 10 yard split of 1.61 seconds, at the NFL Combine.

Elam's highlight reel will show jarring hits and an aggressive style closing on receivers. However, we question if that is consistently sustained for an entire game. Elam has the tools that can translate into a good starting safety in the NFL.
Tue, Feb 26, 2013 10:31:00 AM

The NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah considers Florida S Matt Elam as a second-round prospect.

Jeremiah "loves (Elam's) aggressiveness." The Gator safety will likely split evaluators, since he makes plenty of splash plays to fill up highlight reels, but might lack range in the back half and size to stick with bigger targets downfield.
Tue, Feb 12, 2013 09:14:00 AM

SI's Chris Burke has Florida S Matt Elam as his No. 34 overall player on his updated Big Board.

Burke recognizes Johnathan Cyprien as one of the top safety prospects, but does not list him among the 40 ranked. "For now, give an edge to Elam at that position because he has more experience against upper-echelon competition." The Florida Gator is the only safety on the list besides Kenny Vaccaro, who checks in at No. 17.
Fri, Feb 8, 2013 09:46:00 AM

Florida S Matt Elam made his debut on ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper's Big Board, checking in at the No. 25 spot.

"Questions about Elam's size follow him, but size doesn't diminish him as a physical player, a smaller guy who will attack the line of scrimmage when needed," Kiper writes. "His speed and range in the secondary make him a valuable asset in coverage. A good shot to go in Round 1."
Source: ESPN
Thu, Feb 7, 2013 02:52:00 PM