Bills select Florida cornerback 23rd overall after trading picks with the Baltimore Ravens
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BUFFALO, N.Y, (April-29-2022) - The Buffalo Bills selected Florida cornerback Kaiir Elam 23rd overall in the 2022 NFL Draft.
The Bills traded their first-round and their fourth-round to the Baltimore Ravens to move up to 23.
Elam sad he's excited to come to buffalo after visiting the city and feeling connected to the environment the team provided.
"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."
Elam grew up in Riviera Beach, Florida, and attended The Benjamin School. His family has NFL heritage, with his father, Abram, playing in the NFL for seven seasons and his uncle, Matt, playing for four seasons. In his senior year, he recorded 71 tackles, three sacks and nine interceptions. The Palm Beach 5A-1A named him defensive player of the year and ESPN named him the fourth-best high school recruit of his class.
After committing to Florida, Elam showed his athleticism and lockdown ability, recording 11 tackles, three interceptions and four passes broken up. The SEC named him to the 2019 all-freshman team. Elam finished his career with 78 tackles, five interceptions and 20 passes defended.
Brandon Beane, the Bills general manager, said Elam asked how he could take his game to the next level in Sean McDermott's system.
"He was impressive," Beane said. "At the end of our lunch I asked if he had any questions about the Bills or the NFL. He asked, 'What has Tre'Davious White done to be so good? What do you see in my game that you like and what do you think I need to get better at? Just some really good questions. A guy that's serious and focused and driven to be really good at his craft is what I took from it."
The Bills addressed a serious need, especially after White suffered a torn ACL last fall. Elam said he's ready to learn from White and become Buffalo's number two conrer.
"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."