After selecting Notre Dame Safety Kyle Hamilton and Georgia Defensive End Travon Walker with its first two selections in the 2022 SB Nation Community Mock Draft, the Texans keep the train chugging straight towards a new-look defense with the selection of Florida Cornerback Kaiir Elam in the second round.
Head Coach Lovie Smith made waves last week with his press conference comments that Houston’s “play at the cornerback position last year was not good enough.” Two days later, the Texans signed veteran Steven Nelson to a 2-year deal. In this mock draft, the writers at Battle Red Blog give Smith even more ammunition at the CB spot with the selection of Kaiir (pronounced kai-ear) at No. 37 overall.
Measurables And Combine/Pro Day:
Elam (20), a junior from Riviera Beach, Florida, checks in at 6-2, 195 pounds with 30 7/8-inch arms - exactly the type of long, athletic corner that Lovie Smith looks for in his Tampa-2 defense. His combine and pro day numbers showcased an athletic profile that had scouts curious all over the league. Elam clocked a 40-yard dash of 4.39 seconds, jumped 37.5 inches in the vertical jump, ran a 3-cone drill of 6.98 seconds, and a short shuttle of 4.21 seconds.
Position Projection and Production:
Elam spent all three of his years at Florida lining up at corner for the Gators, primarily as the left CB. He played in both man and zone looks, and particularly excelled in attacking passes at the point of attack to force incompletions. He projects as an outside corner in the NFL that can play in a variety of defensive schemes, but would play his best in press-man looks. Scouts generally agree that Elam could stand to improve his tackling in the run game, but his size and physicality in coverage make him a sought after commodity.
Despite fighting injuries his junior season, Elam put up solid production numbers in college, notching 6 interceptions, 20 pass breakups, and 78 tackles in his career as a Gator.
Elam comes from a gifted family of athletes, as his uncle, Matt Elam played multiple years for the Baltimore Ravens, and father Abram Elam played 7 years at defensive back in the NFL. Kaiir didn’t start playing football until the 7th grade, and by the time he was in high school, began to develop into a highly recruited player out of the state of Florida.
Once he made it to Gainesville, Elam started as a freshman and was named to the All-SEC Freshman Team in 2019. After his 2020 season, he was named to the All-SEC First Team and was a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award.
Overall, the Texans add yet another player to the defensive side of the football who will provide physicality, length, youth, and competition. Paired with first-round selection Kyle Hamilton in this mock draft, the Texans may have made positive strides into improving their struggling secondary from 2021.
Top Players Remaining:
- Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
- Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington
- Jalen Pitre, S, Baylor
- Perrion Winfrey, IDL, Oklahoma
- Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State