2013 NFL Draft scouting profile: Matt Elam

Sam Greenwood

Should the Rams consider the hard hitting Gator in the draft?

Matt Elam was a two year starter for Florida at safety, where he earned All-SEC first team honors last season as a Junior. Elam is a highlight reel player. He makes huge, exciting, and explosive player. He is a dangerous hitter and is a great athlete.

Strengths

  • Matt Elam is very strong. Lot of muscle packed onto a smaller frame. He has the strength to press TEs at the line and reroute them, but his technique needs work here.
  • Violent hitter. I don't know how else to put it but that he brings the boom.
  • Good tackler. Rarely has tackles broken on him, but too often tackles with his arms instead of his body.
  • Great in run support. Has the strength to set the edge.
  • Good in zone coverage, as long as he keeps his man in front of him.
  • Ability to rush the passer. Great closing speed.
  • Will be a great special teams player in the NFL if teams choose to play him there.
  • Uses his hands well to break up passes.
  • Team captain at Florida.

Weakenesses

  • Overaggressive with his angles at times. Often looks for the big hit rather than the tackle.
  • Not good at tracking the ball after he is turned. After he is turned around, he easily loses his man.
  • Will get called for many helmet to helmet hits in the NFL if he continues to play recklessly.
  • Not a centerfielder. In the box strong safety.
  • Slow to react in man coverage.
  • Doesn't force turnovers.
  • Not ideal size for the position 5' 10" 208 lbs.
  • Often a pile watcher, which is surprising to see in such an agressive player.

Overall

Matt Elam is a safety of the mold of Roman Harper or Quintin Mikell. He is an in the box SS who isn't the best in coverage, but can still be a great asset to a team. His strength in run support and his good open field tackling will be very valuable. I see him as a late first round pick and he should be considered by the Rams at 22 overall, depending on if they bring back Quintin Mikell back on a cheaper deal or if they feel Darian Stewart is ready to play. I would perfer to get more of a centerfielder type safety, but if Les Snead and Jeff Fisher feel they need a replacement for Mikell, Elam would be a great pick.

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