Ravens Take 30 Seconds Before Deciding on Safety Matt Elam from Florida (a Bob Sanders Clone)

With the 32nd and final pick in the first round, the Ravens selected safety Matt Elam out of Florida.

Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro got most of the pre-draft pub, but the reality is Elam is a play-making thumper. There are concerns that his size (5-foot-10, 208 pounds) could be problematic long term, and he has drawn comparisons to former hard-hitting Colts safety Bob Sanders in that regard.

Either way, he’ll get a chance to replace future Hall of Famer Ed Reed in Baltimore’s secondary.

Elam’s scouting report via NFLDraftScout.com’s Rob Rang:

Athletic, instinctive and quite physical, Elam demonstrated the ability to walk up into the box and be a force near the line of scrimmage while also dropping back into coverage as a single-high safety when coaches called for it — showing off the type of versatility that NFL teams are demanding from today’s hybrid safeties.

Shows savvy to complement his physical talents, using his hands to knock away passes at the last moment and avoiding blocks with patience and vision rather than simply attempting to out-physical his opponents at every opportunity. … Elam has a knack of making big plays at critical moments and therefore could ultimately earn some Troy Polamalu comparisons, but he’ll need to clean up his open-field tackling skills to earn that kind of lofty praise.

 from cbssports.com

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