Patriots: 3 way-too-early 2022 NFL Draft prospects we’re eyeing
By Mike Luciano
2. CB Kaiir Elam, Florida
The Patriots still have a very uneven secondary, as potential trades looming for either Stephon Gilmore or JC Jackson threaten to ruin one of the best collective units in the league. Drafting a contingency plan like Elam could help the Patriots maintain their elite status, as the former top recruit looks like a terrific man-cover corner.
Elam is a bit on the skinny side, and he will need to bulk up, but his ability to make plays on the ball and run with anyone down the field is very impressive. In a Belichick system that values cornerbacks like Gilmore than can stick with receivers, Elam is a fit for this scheme.
How would Kaiir Elam help the Patriots?
Elam landing in New England’s lap, which could happen considering he’s vying with the likes of Andrew Booth, Derion Kendrick, and Sevyn Banks for the CB1 title next season, would be enough to make the Patriots comfortable with moving off of Jackson or Gilmore and getting a haul of assets in return.
Elam’s cousin, former Baltimore Ravens first-round pick Matt Elam, washed out of the NFL due to injuries and an arrest in 2017. If Elam avoids those same pitfalls, he could be a starter for a decade in New England. After earning rave reviews at Florida, Elam would be perfect for a coach like Belichick that will let him scrap at the line of scrimmage.