If the New York Giants are planning on trading or cutting cornerback James Bradberry, they will need to draft a CB to replace him alongside Adoree Jackson. There are several phenomenal secondary prospects available in the first round, including Derek Stingley and Sauce Gardner, but there is another name that has been rumored to be of interest within the Giants’ organization.
Florida defensive back Kaiir Elam could be high on the Giants’ draft board, but given he is a late first-round prospect, he could ultimately be a trade-back target.
Some inside #Giants are high on CB Kaiir Elam, I’m told. Problem is he probably won’t last until pick 36. If they don’t get Sauce Gardner at 5 and trade from 7 to 20ish …. ? #NFLDraft
— Ryan Dunleavy (@rydunleavy) April 25, 2022
Elam is an intriguing prospect, featuring in 657 total snaps last year, including 359 in coverage for the Gators. He allowed a 52.8% completion rate for 191 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception.
At 6’2″ and 192 pounds, the Florida native has a great frame and plenty of experience to help him translate to the NFL. However, the majority of his problematic performances came in 2021, whereas his best games are mostly in 2020, when he gave up just a 42.6% completion rate.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein isn’t entirely high on Elam, noting his inconsistencies:
Elam is the next up in a long line of talented Florida cornerbacks, but he failed to play his best football in his final collegiate season. He is patient and strong to mirror and impede releases but inconsistent staying connected to the early stages of the route. He plays with good awareness in zone and has the twitch and length to make plays on the throw when squatting in space. He was beat on deep patterns against Alabama, Arkansas and Georgia, which might have led to excessive grabbing and an overall lack of trust in his technique on the 2021 tape. He plays big at the catch point but smaller in run support. Elam has early CB3 and eventual CB2 value as a press and zone corner.
Another concern regarding Elam is his penalties, using his hands too frequently to disrupt receivers and hold on during the break of their routes. Elam was penalized seven times in 10 games last year, and that problem won’t simply disappear at the NFL level.
The Giants have the draft position to get the cream of the crop at defensive back, and if they do plan on parting ways with Bradberry, they should be extremely careful replacing him at CB2 in a scheme that heavily relies on great corner play.