Bills' 2022 First-Round Draft Pick looked ready to shed bust label at minicamp

After being selected No. 23 overall, Buffalo Bills' CB Kaiir Elam has struggled to see the field but that might be changing.
Bills defensive back Kaiir Elam during training camp drills.
Bills defensive back Kaiir Elam during training camp drills. / Jamie Germano/Democrat and Chronicle /

It's been a trying two years for Buffalo Bills' 2022 first-round cornerback Kaiir Elam, but he hasn't stopped working.

"I'm a firm believer in what you put in is what you get out it might not happen when you want it or when you think it should. It's gonna always work out, it's gonna always show," said Elam in a media scrum following Thursday's festivities in Orchard Park.

After struggling to define his role up until this point, it was certainly happening for Elam at three-day mandatory minicamp by multiple accounts. The 23-year-old defensive back reportedly made interceptions during practice sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Go Long writes Ty Dunne described defensive coordinator Bobby Babich's reaction to Elam's first pick as a "rebel yell."

On Wednesday, Rochester sports anchor Dan Fetes reported that Elam intercepted "Josh Allen this time jumping a route against Keon Coleman. Sean McDermott and Bobby Babich were FIRED UP."

"It was great to see me making plays and be a great teammate. Now, they know that they can count on me and just be there when they need me to," said Elam. "I really believe that I can really take away the ball at a high level."

While he's played less than half of regular season games, Elam has been pressed into duty in the postseason due to injuries and has displayed his takeaway ability on a big stage. He has interceptions in each of Buffalo's last two playoff wins.

Already labeled a bust by national pundits, the former No. 23 overall draft selection is threatening to break out in Year 3.

"Just trusting and believing in myself. Seeing plays develop one or two times, and after awhile, it gave me the confidence to go out there and just play fast and free. Trusting in my technique my coaches instilled in me," said Elam.

After incurring disappointing growing pains, the Florida product appears to be a reenergized ascending player this spring.

Ralph Ventre