As has widely been expected since before his 2021 season even began, Florida Gators junior cornerback Kaiir Elam has announced that he will forgo his senior year of college and instead enter his name in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Elam, 6-foot-2, 196 pounds, developed into one of the better corners in the country over the last three years, earning starting reps as a true freshman due to injuries and taking over a full-time starting role on the outside of UF's defense as a true sophomore.
The Riviera Beach, Fla. native finishes his Gators career having played in 34 games, including 26 starts, accumulating 78 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, five interceptions, 20 pass breakups and a fumble recovery.
According to Pro Football Focus, Elam allowed only 53 receptions for 636 yards (12 yards per catch) across 114 career targets in coverage at Florida, equating to a completion percentage given up of 46.5%, a truly elite rate for a college cornerback.
For comparison's sake, Elam's career completion percentage allowed is better than recent UF corners-turned-NFL Draft picks such as Vernon Hargreaves III (47.5%), Duke Dawson (50.5%), C.J. Henderson (52.7%), Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (54.8%), Marco Wilson (60.5%) and numerous others.
Thanks to his production, ability to lock down receivers, physical attributes and experience, Elam has been pegged as a potential first-round pick since before his junior season even began.
After a bit of an injury-riddled 2021 season, he will need to impress scouts at the NFL Combine and in pre-draft interviews to maximize his draft stock. But when pro teams turn on the tape to watch Elam, they'll immediately recognize the cornerback for his typically dominant play on the field.
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