NFL Draft Prospect: Matt Elam, Safety, Florida

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Matt Elam
Florida Safety Matt Elam

Player Information:

Matt Elam, Safety, University of Florida

5’10”, 202 pounds

Palm Beach Gardens, FL

STATS

NFL Combine:

40 time: 4.54

225-pound bench: 17 reps

Vertical: 35 1/2″

Broad:  118″

News and Notes:

Elam began his Gator career as a starter on special teams.  Once given the chance to play at safety, he quickly showcased his talents and was a full-time starter in 2012. . . led the team in tackles for a loss (11) and had four interceptions along with two sacks and a forced fumble. . .Elam has been known to be a “big personality” off the field and was hot on many schools’ radar coming out of high school in 2010.  He elected to attend Florida and play for Urban Meyer. . .was voted first-team All American in 2012. . .ran just .01 second behind the fastest 40 time among safeties at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine. . .older brother Abe Elam is currently an NFL free agent safety who has spent his first eight seasons with several teams

What they’re saying about him:

  • CBSSports.com: “Athletic, instinctive and quite physical, Elam demonstrated the ability to walk up into the box and be a force near the line of scrimmage while also dropping back into coverage as a single-high safety when coaches called for it — showing off the type of versatility NFL teams are demanding from today’s hybrid safeties.”
  • NFL.com: “Plays close to the line of scrimmage or in the box very often. At his best when asked to make a play, either blitzing or one on one on the edge. Frequently assigned to cover the slot receiver. There are times when he flashes tremendous disruption when the play is developing in front of him. Has catch up speed to chase down when he wants to. Gets hand up to disrupt at the catch point even if head is not turned to locate the football. Gets downfield very quickly as a gunner in punt coverage.”

 

Video Analysis:

  • Physical and plays well in the box, near the line of scrimmage
  • Blitzes well and is disruptive
  • Closes well on the play in front of him
  • Quick to the backfield in run support
  • Height is a concern against taller receivers
  • Hits hard but at times sacrafices good form when tackling

If drafted by the Packers:

NFL.com compares Elam most closely to free agent safety Quintin Mikell.  Elam is a physical and firey defender who brings an element of swagger to his game.  His size is a concern and he has had some off-field issues in the past.  Elam would be a reach selection for Green Bay, given that they are still looking for a solid starter at safety.  He would most likely contribute on special teams right away for the Packers.  He has very good speed and while raw, could be molded into a good NFL safety.  Elam would have to be a second-round selection as he is not projected to last beyond that point.  He is a project-type guy coming out of college and with Jerron McMillian already in the fold, I’m not sure the Packers would tie up an early pick on another.  Elam has, however, been graded as the second-best safety in this upcoming draft by some analysts.  This one would depend on how things shake up in round one and if Elam is still there when Green Bay’s second round turn comes.

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Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on AllGreenBayPackers.com

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  • Matt Bove

    Disagree I would not mind the Packers taking Elam at 26 at all.

  • Paul

    He won’t be there when the Packers pick in the 2nd round…he may not make it out of the first.

  • bobalou13

    Not in the cards. Unless the coaches have no faith whatever in McMillen, which I don’t believe is the case. Elam could be a nice player but doubtful as a first round pick and won’t be there for our second pick.