NFL News: Bills First Round Pick Earning High Praise

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Tristin McKinstry

The Buffalo Bills decided to trade up with the Baltimore Ravens in order to select Florida Gators cornerback Kaiir Elam in the 2022 NFL Draft. Buffalo had high hopes for their new rookie, and so far, he's making a great impression.

Bills players and coaches alike have lavished praise upon the 21-year-old first-round pick to the media recently.

Learning The Game

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All-Pro safety Micah Hyde recently conducted a video conference with reports where he compared Elam's performance in camp to the way fellow All-Pro Tre'Davious White conducted himself as a rookie.

“You can already tell he listens. He pays attention,” Hyde told reporters. “You can tell as I’m saying stuff he’s taking mental notes. That’s how Tre’Davious was when he first got here. He was battling on the football field which is what Kaiir is doing, but also just learning from his mistakes and learning from the older guys.”

A Quick Learner

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Bills head coach Sean McDermott noted that while the 21-year-old is going through growing pains as a rookie, he's also shown to be a rather quick learner.

“He’s been going through the normal rookie growing pains. You have a good play, how do you follow it up with another good play? You have a bad play, how do you reset and come back with a good play? Some of it is mental as much as anything,” McDermott told reporters.

Big Expectations

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Defensive coordinator Leslie Fraizer has also been impressed with what he's seen from his new defensive back.

"He was still in pretty good shape," Fraizer told Bills reporter Jackson Roberts earlier in the month about Elam's arrival to camp. "Sometimes, guys will come to that rookie minicamp, and they're going on all them trips around the league, they're not working out. They're not taking care of themselves."

"It showed that he had the discipline to find time when he was on all those trips and some of those visits to get out and work out. And it showed when he came to rookie minicamp."

Fraizer also issued a bit of a decree to the young defensive back earlier in the month, setting expectations pretty high.

“We need Kaiir to step up and play well for us early,” Frazier told the media.

No Pressure

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Big expectations are expected to be placed on a player who was not only a first-round pick but was so coveted by a team that they traded up to get him. However, if Elam is feeling the weight of those expectations, he isn't showing it.

“There’s no pressure,” Elam told reporters earlier this month. “Football is football. I go out there, listen to my coaches, make plays and have fun. At the end of the day, help this team win, that’s the most important thing.”