Instant analysis: Bills bolster secondary by selecting Kaiir Elam in Round 1

The Buffalo Bills filled one of the few holes on their roster by selecting Florida cornerback Kaiir Elam in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

In order to do so, the team moved up two spots in a trade with the Baltimore Ravens to the No. 23 overall selection.

Elam fits with Buffalo’s defense nicely. He played well in both zone and man coverage during his time in Florida. Elam is aggressive at the line of scrimmage and works to divert receivers at the initial point of contact.

He does a great job at keeping plays in front of him, and Elam moves well to close down on receivers in the short-to-intermediate passing game. In addition, Elam’s size matches well against big-bodied receivers, as he was strong in contested-catch situations.

Elam was impressive from the time he stepped on campus for the Gators. During his freshman season, Elam earned SEC All-Freshmen honors. He recorded three interceptions during this season.

As a sophomore, he was named a first-team All-SEC player, registering 39 tackles, 13 passes defended, and two interceptions.

Elam missed three games last year due to a knee injury. Still, Elam started 10 games during his senior year, registering 29 tackles, six passes defended, and one interception.

Elam gives Buffalo an athletic and physical cornerback to play opposite Tre’Davious White. White is returning from an ACL injury, so it’s vital that the Bills have a player who can even step in a take on No.1 duty when called upon if necessary. Dane Jackson played admirably last year, but Elam’s size and athleticism mark an upgrade at the position for the Bills.

Levi Wallace left during free agency, leaving a void in the secondary for Buffalo.

The Bills secondary has been the strength of this team since head coach Sean McDermott arrived. With the selection of Elam, the already strong group has become arguably one of the most formidable starting units as a whole in the entire league.

Buffalo traded their original first-round pick (25th overall) along with their fourth-round pick (130th overall) to Baltimore to select their player of choice.

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Bills trade up to pick No. 23 in first round with Ravens, select CB Kaiir Elam