Who will the Houston Texans take in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft?
One of the players the Houston Texans could have high interest in for the 2022 NFL Draft is cornerback Kaiir Elam of University of Florida as he could be a choice in the second round on Friday, April 29.
A recent seven-round full NFL mock draft by Josh Edwards of CBS Sports has the Texans picking offensive line and defensive line with their two first-round picks, but in the second round at overall pick No. 37 he has the Texans drafting a cornerback, which is a much-needed position for the franchise.
When looking at some numbers for Elam this past season while playing against various competition — including the SEC — the Florida cornerback had 17 solo tackles, five passes defensed and one interception in 10 games played in 2021.
Elam’s lone interception was against South Florida in his third game of the season, and three of his passes defensed came against the Alabama Crimson Tide. Also it should be noted that Elam battled some injuries this past season, but it is said he’s back to being healthy as he’s prepared for the draft.
For his career Elam has six career interceptions, with three his first season at Florida, two in 2020 and one this past season. Also in ’20, Elam had 11 passes defensed, giving him a career total of 20 passes defensed in three seasons with the Florida Gators.
Texans Draft: How did NFL.com grade Kaiir Elam in their pre-draft profile?
The NFL.com pre-draft grade for Elam is 6.38 (out of 8.0) meaning they believe he’s going to “eventually be a plays-starter” in the NFL. The draft prospect profile by Lance Zierlein for NFL.com says the following about Elam and what his abilities can allow him to do in the NFL:
"“He plays big at the catch point but smaller in run support. Elam has early CB3 and eventual CB2 value as a press and zone corner.”"
If Elam can be a consistent player on defense and be big in coverage that would be a huge plus for the Texans in ’21 and in seasons beyond. The Texans don’t need to have superstars at the position — unless they draft a cornerback in the first round like Sauce Gardner — but some believe many are looking past Elam in this draft.
Sure, Elam didn’t have the best ’21 season, and what’s great about the NFL and for Elam is he gets a fresh start in ’22. Since it is said he’s healthier than where he was last season, a fresh start on a team that’s rebuilding could be the perfect fit for Elam as a cornerback.
The Texans need to draft players who can bring a lot of toughness to the defense, and players who will battle each play, and Elam seems to be a player who is highly regarded as a good player since he has a second-round grade.
If the Texans pass on a cornerback with their two first-round picks, then selecting a cornerback in the second round at 37th overall wouldn’t be a huge surprise, but a decision that will bring some discussion if that choice is Elam as he regressed in his play in ’21.
Any way anyone looks at things, the Texans need more cornerbacks, and Elam is a solid player when healthy. Whether the Texans or another team picks him later this month, he’ll be a name worth remembering to see how his progression plays out at the NFL level in ’22.