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Kaiir Elam Eager to Start Working With Bills

Their first-round pick already has established rapport with Tre'Davious White.
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Sometime during his pre-draft visit to the Buffalo Bills' complex, Kaiir Elam realized the Bills' had extreme interest in using their first pick in this year's NFL Draft on him, which they did on Thursday after trading up two places to make sure it would happen.

Happy as Elam was to have his name called by commissioner Goodell, it won't keep him from trying to prove to all the teams that made picks before the Bills did at No. 23 that they were wrong.

"I was just so grateful, man," Elam said in a news conference, "because once I got to Buffalo and did my visit, I just felt something special. I didn't know what it was, I didn't know what it could be, but I just felt something special and felt like it was environment where I can go in and try to compete and learn as much as I can and just try to have an immediate impact right away.

"I think it was just a sign of relief, I would say, because honestly, I strive to be the best, and tonight I wasn't the first defensive player to be selected it, but ... I think it'll bring out another edge to my game."

Top corner Tre'Davious White should help with that. Elam met him during his visit and came away as impressed with White as White apparently was with him.

"He just told me how much he admired my game and he loved my game," Elam said. "And ... he said if I have any any questions or anything, just hit him up. So I still have his number. I hit him up as soon as he told me that and, you know, I tried to pick his brain and learn as much as I can."

Elam is expected to compete immediately with Dane Jackson to be a starter on the outside opposite White.

That is, unless White is unable to start the season while recovering from a ruptured ACL suffered just five months ago. In that case, the Bills may be counting on Jackson and Elam to start the season, with Taron Johnson locking down the slot in Buffalo's nickel base defense.

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To get a head start on the whole process, Elam is hoping to have a basic understanding of the Bills' defense before he arrives for the first time as an actual member of the organization.

"I'm super excited, man," he said. "I'm so excited to go to work. I told them to put the playbook on the plane and I'll try to learn as much as I can right away and just just get better and contribute to the team and have a shot to have an impact right away."

In reality, by the time this team hits the field at St. John Fisher for training camp in July, Elam will be competing against more than just Jackson. The Bills almost certainly will continue to add to this position via the rest of the Draft or free agency or trades or a combination, because they're short of experienced bodies at that spot.

After allowing Levi Wallace to depart in free agency, the Bills are looking at a rehabbing White, Jackson and Taron Johnson as the only players among the nine corners on the roster who have started more than three games as pros.

So the gene pool will have to be increased and/or refined as the Bills continue to build their offseason roster back to the offseason limit of 90 players. 

In the meantime, here's a look at the entire Bills' cornerback corps heading into the second round of the Draft on Friday night.

Dane Jackson

The Bills came into the Draft with 68 players on their roster.

Nick Fierro is the publisher of Bills Central. Check out the latest Bills news at and follow Fierro on Twitter at @NickFierro. Email to