6 options at cornerback for the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2022 NFL Draft
4. Kaiir Elam (Florida)
- 6’2″, 196 pounds
Kaiir Elam will be a very realistic prospect for the Cincinnati Bengals at pick 31 but the question is raised if he will fit into the defensive scheme that the Bengals run. When in coverage, the stripes often lean toward a zone, and Elam thrives in his aggressive man-to-man press play.
Elam is strong at the line of scrimmage and when attacking the football in the air. He likes to look for the breakup or interception when it is thrown his way. Sometimes that can be very beneficial to him and his team, and sometimes it could negatively affect his game.
In 2020 he was tied for fourth in the country in pass breakups with 13. Elam brings a lot to the table that shouldn’t go unnoticed, though. He tracks the ball at a high level and has a lot of pure skill and natural ability that makes him a mid to late first-round pick or possibly early second round.
He has battled injuries here and there in his college career, but it’s not something that will alarm many teams. He has extremely good instincts and anticipation and is also very dangerous when he does get the ball in his hands due to the fact he was a former wide receiver, so the talent and skill to be a pass catcher playing cornerback is all there.
Many thought he would be a great free safety, but he is built more like a cornerback, so that is where they decided to position him, and now he is a top prospect in the NFL draft for the cornerback position, so you could say they made the right decision.