Sports

Where ESPN 2022 NFL mock has Florida’s Kaiir Elam


Florida cornerback Kaiir Elam didn’t exactly have the final season he was hoping for. He entered his junior season considered one of the top corners in college football, and some even thought he could be the first or second player off the board at the position.

But a 2021 season plagued by injuries limited him, and even though he was impactful when on the field, that has hurt his stock entering draft season. Elam was long considered an essential shoo-in for a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL draft, but now that’s far from a given.

In the latest mock draft from ESPN’s Jordan Reid, Elam falls out of the first round entirely and drops to the Minnesota Vikings in the middle of the second round with the 46th pick.

Elam has received mixed reviews from NFL evaluators I’ve spoken to; some see him going as high as the late first round, while others seem him in Round 2. At 6-foot-2, 195 pounds, Elam is a big press-man corner. With Minnesota in search of cornerback help and Elam turning 21 years old a week after the draft, he checks a lot of the boxes for the Vikings’ scouting department. He had six picks in three seasons for the Gators.

Given the recent track record of Florida cornerbacks in the NFL, it’s not exactly surprising to see his stock dip a little after missing four games in 2021. Still, Elam has a lot of the traits you like to see in a lockdown corner, and UF’s secondary took a clear step back when he wasn’t on the field.

Nothing went to plan for the Gators this season, and that extends to Elam. The days where he was considered a fringe top 10 pick seem like a distant memory, but he remains one of the better cornerbacks available in the 2022 class.

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