2013 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Matt Elam, SS, Florida

by Cory J. Bonini on March 21, 2013 @ 12:34:21 PDT


Florida strong safety Matt Elam has skipped his senior season with the Gators to take a stab at the 2013 NFL Draft. His style of play can lead to time at free or strong safety, depending on the defensive scheme.

Elam was a two-year starter in college. He racked up 76 stops in 2012, with 11 going for a loss. Elam added four picks, a forced fumble and a pair of sacks.

Matt Elam, SS, Florida
Highly rated thumper


  • Athletic with NFL speed (4.54-second 40-yard dash)
  • Good on the edge and at his best in the box
  • Experienced blitzer
  • Closing speed is one of his stronger points
  • Shows good enough awareness to disrupt timing passes downfield
  • Experience as a special teams gunner
  • High-effort player
  • Explosive hitter
  • Versatile hybrid safety - can play in the box or as a read-and-react safety in a Cover 1
  • Well-built frame (packs 208 pounds very effectively at 5-foot-10)
  • NFL bloodlines (brother of Abram Elam)


  • Height is less than ideal (5-foot-10)
  • Overly aggressive versus the run - plays with uncontrolled violence at times (could lead to a lot of penalties in the pros)
  • Off-the-field alcohol problems in 2010 and 2011
  • Tends to struggle against quick-twitch wide receivers, primarily in the slot
  • Needs to improve as a wrap-up tackler - looks for the big hit far too often
  • Displays hesitancy to react to screens and delay routes
  • Needs to improve his overall technique - enough here for coaches to work with to make it only a minor concern

Expected draft placement

Elam could be a first-round pick but has earned a strong second-round grade. He could receive interest in Round 1 from the St. Louis Rams (No. 16, No. 22), New York Giants (No. 19), Minnesota Vikings (No. 23, No. 25) and Baltimore Ravens (No. 32). Elam probably will not slide past the Arizona Cardinals (No. 38) or New York Jets (No. 40) in the early second round.

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About Cory J. Bonini

Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.

Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.

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