NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Florida safety Matt Elam
|04.07.13 at 7:13 am ET|
WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that might be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2013 NFL draft. Here is one is a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection.
Weight: 208 pounds
Achievements: 2012 All-America first team (AP, Sporting News, SI.com, CBSSports.com), 2012 All-America second team (Walter Camp), 2012 All-SEC first team (AP, coaches)
What he brings: Despite being on the smaller side for his position, Elam has impressed with his playmaking ability, athleticism and timing. He shone especially in big games against rivals like Florida State, Georgia, LSU and Tennessee in his two years as a starter. He’s physical given his size but doesn’t rely only on his strength, utilizing his sense of timing and anticipation to knock away passes at the last second or avoid blocks. CBS Sports calls his lateral agility “good, but not great” and says he sometimes leaves his feet and lunges to make hits, but notes that overall he’s an instinctive, versatile player, the kind who could thrive at the NFL level.
Where the Patriots could get him: Round 2
Notes: Elam made 26 starts at safety during his time at Florida, where he appeared in 39 total games. He had 176 tackles, 23.5 tackles for losses, 13 pass breakups, six interceptions, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He was voted a team captain in 2012, but he also has had minor encounters with the police regarding alcohol possession offenses, in July 2010 and July 2011.
Video: Here’s a look at Elam vs. LSU in 2012.