You may have forgotten about it with all the free agent talk, but NFL teams are also preparing for the 2013 NFL Draft. That goes for the St. Louis Rams too, who had an eye on the ground at the University of Florida's pro day on Tuesday to get a look at safety Matt Elam and others.
Defensive backs coach Chuck Cecil was on hand working out the defensive backs, including Elam.
Elam stood on his 40 time from the Combine, an impressive 4.54 that was among the best times for the safeties in Indianapolis. He impressed observers at his pro day workout too.
Florida pro-day completed in rain.Matt Elam/S stood on his combine 40 but looked tremendous during drills' great range & lateral movement.— Tony Pauline (@TonyPauline) March 12, 2013
Bostic has quicks and instincts. Elam was efficient and caught ball well and Reed impressed with his hands incl several one-handed grabs.— Senior Bowl (@seniorbowl) March 12, 2013
Elam played strong safety at Florida, often tasked with covering the slot receiver. He's been compared to Donte Whitner and even Quintin Mikell. He hits big, he tackles well and he can break up screen passes and plays in the short and intermediate part of the field. Obviously, he has his weaknesses, which primarily center on taking the right angles and playing smart instead of going for the big hit.
Depending on how his draft stock shakes out by the time April rolls around, Elam is expected to be a first- or second-round pick. It's unlikely that he would be on the board in the second round by the time the Rams are on the clock for their first pick of the day.