Matt Elam S Florida #22
Size/Athleticism: Nice blend of size and speed. He’s a hard hitter who can make receivers think twice about coming across the middle.
Coverage: Capable of lining up in man coverage over the tight end. He does a nice job in press coverage and can frustrated tight ends at the line of scrimmage who expect to be able to overpower a much smaller safety. In consistent in his technique in zone coverage. He turns his back on the quarterback too often, and struggles to recover. He seems to struggle with the multitasking of paying attention to the receivers in his zone while also keeping an eye on the quarterback. Lined up over the slot receiver a lot in college, but he lacks the fluid athleticism to cover most slot receivers in the NFL.
Ball skills: Hands are inconsistent but he’s a great athlete who can put himself in position to at least get a hand on the ball.
Run support: Loves playing the run. Willing to stick his nose into the middle of the action and won’t back down from battling with the big boys at the line of scrimmage. Has the ability to be a reliable wrap-up tackler, but he is far too aggressive. Goes for the big hit far too often, and has a reputation as a bit of a head hunter. He will definitely rack up the fines at the next level if he doesn’t change his style of play. He also misses too many tackles as a result of his desire to lay out the ball carrier, rather than simply bring him down.
Intangibles: Elam is a borderline dirty player who had dealt out more than his fair share of helmet-to-helmet hits which will draw flags and fines in the NFL. His future team will need to work with him on his style of play, or else he will become very familiar with Roger Goodell.
Durability: No known issues.
Comments: Elam has the raw skills to play either safety position, but he’s much better playing closer to the line of scrimmage in the strong safety role. He will immediately make an impact in run support, and has the tools to develop into an adequate coverage safety. His aggressiveness is definitely an asset, but he will need to keep it under control or he will hurt the team with penalties and potentially a suspension down the road.