Can Florida cornerback and first-round pick Kaiir Elam be the final piece for the Buffalo Bills to push them over the top?
The Buffalo Bills have had a need at CB2 for some time. It feels like ever since they drafted Tre’Davious White in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft that the need was pressing. They tried veteran options like Josh Norman, but no one ever really stuck. In an AFC that has an ever-increasing amount of receiving weapons, they couldn’t wait any longer.
The Bills moved up a couple spots in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft to select Florida corner Kaiir Elam. Elam has the prototypical size to play corner, and was reportedly one of the most studious players in the draft. When the video came out of his meeting with the Bills at the combine, he had his big notebook and talked about how much he studied himself and others to get better.
On top of that, Elam should have the versatility to play in either man or zone in Buffalo. His physical style of play in press can help in a lot of cloud coverage when the Bills stick in cover-2 heavy looks. The Bills did make a jump in the amount of snaps in man coverage (11th most in 2021), which will favor Elam. He can disrupt routes and erase corners on the outside, squeezing them to the sideline. Elam’s ball skills are also impressive, and he can create turnovers when given the opportunity.
So will Kaiir Elam be that missing piece for the Buffalo Bills? We mentioned before that the AFC is growing in receiving talent. Their own division is pretty loaded (Miami with Tyreek Hill/Jaylen Waddle, the Jets with Corey Davis/Garrett Wilson/Elijah Moore), and the Chiefs, Chargers, Bengals, Broncos, Raiders, and Ravens all have multiple players who are great options in their respective offenses. Everything feels in place, and the Bills will have quite a duo for the stretch run in Elam and White.