Photo of Matt Elam
Grade
80.0 ?
  • 4.54 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 17 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 35.5 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 118.0 INCH
    Top Performer
Blue Star  =  Top Performer
  • 5'10" Height
  • 32 5/8" Arm Length
  • 208LBS. Weight
  • 9" Hands

Overview

A two-year starter as part of the Gators' secondary, Matt Elam will put forward one of the best highlight reels of any prospect in this class due to his big hits and personality on the field. Elam has been a coveted player his entire life, entering the college ranks as the top high school safety prospect after being coached by Jack Daniels, a Florida alum. In fact, his older brother Abe Elam has paved the way for Matt to make it in the NFL. He was a two way player in high school, but Elam made the transition to safety shortly after focusing on special teams during his freshman season in 2010.



During that first year, Elam recorded 22 tackles primarily on the kickoff coverage unit while also being one of the first defensive backs off the bench all season, primarily in the nickel role. As a sophomore, Elam took a big step forward and was one of five Gators to start all 13 games in 2011. Playing the strong safety spot, Elam led the team in tackles for loss (11), pass breakups (seven) and forced fumbles (two). Elam kept his starting strong safety spot in 2012, compiling 76 total tackles, once again making 11 of them for a loss. He added two sacks, one forced fumble, and four interceptions.

Analysis

Strengths

Plays close to the line of scrimmage or in the box very often. At his best when asked to make a play, either blitzing or one on one on the edge. Frequently assigned to cover the slot receiver. There are times when he flashes tremendous disruption when the play is developing in front of him. Has catch up speed to chase down when he wants to. Gets hand up to disrupt at the catch point even if head is not turned to locate the football. Gets downfield very quickly as a gunner in punt coverage.

Weaknesses

Would rather drift laterally against the run rather than plant his outside foot, free outside arm, and force run upfield immediately. For how many hard hitting splash plays he makes, he could be much more aggressive every down. Little urgency to his game. Seen standing around far too often. Waits on screen rather than attacking while ball is getting there. Tries to make the big hit far too often, lunges, leads with shoulder, or leaves his feet rather than just wrapping up.

NFL Comparison

Quintin Mikell

Bottom Line

Elam is one of the higher profile prospects at his position due to his onfield emotion and energy when lining up big hits in the open field. The junior thrives when his nunmber is called, and Elam was very visible since he frequently lined up in the box at strong safety. However, when looking beyond the splash plays, Elam lacks urgency to his game and can be seen standing around while others make the play. That combined with his tendency to launch himself at ball carriers rather than make form tackles may cause some evaluators to be a bit apprhensive. But, if the Gator can harness the electricity he flashes, Elam could end up being one of the top safeties in this class and is a potential first-round pick.
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.
NFL News
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