Ravens select Florida safety Matt Elam

Ravens select Florida safety Matt Elam
April 25, 2013, 11:45 pm
Share This Post

Matt Elam the right fit at safety for Ravens D

The Ravens stayed true to their draft board on the first night of the draft, using their first-round pick, No. 32 overall, to select Florida safety Matt Elam.

General manager Ozzie Newsome said Elam was the highest-rated player on the Ravens board when it was their turn to pick at No. 32, and added that they entertained no offers to trade down out of the first round.

Elam, a 5-foot-10, 210-pounder, started his last 26 games at Florida and became the second safety in Florida history named an All-America. He totaled 176 tackles, five sacks, 24 tackles for loss and six interceptions.

His brother, Abram, is a six-year NFL veteran and played with the Chiefs this past season.

In Elam, the Ravens get a hard-hitting safety with speed that Newsome said jumps out when watching on film.

Play after play you go 'Wow,’” Newsome said. “The way he played on tape is the way you have to play in the AFC North.”
Coach John Harbaugh said that his wife asked Harbaugh this afternoon which player he’d like to get in the first round. “It was Matt Elam,” Harbaugh said. “I couldn’t be more excited about it.”

Harbaugh also pointed out that Elam does have ties to the Ravens: As a freshman at Florida, Elam was coached by current Ravens secondary coach Teryl Austin.

“He fits our profile perfectly,” said college scouting director Joe Hortiz.

As the Ravens prepared to pick at No. 32, several players linked to them in mock drafts, including Elam, safety Jonathan Cyprien and linebackers Mante Te’o and Kevin Minter remained on the board. Newsome said he entertained no offers for trades while the Ravens were on the clock.

The Ravens have lost both starting safeties from last year, so Newsome acknowledged that it is a position of need, but he added that Elam "was the highest rated player on our board."

Elam is expected to visit Baltimore on Friday and meet with the media.