According to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun, the Carolina Panthers met with Florida Safety Matt Elam last week. Elam is widely considered to be the third best safety in the 2013 NFL Draft after Kenny Vaccaro of Texas and John Cyprien of Florida International.
University of Florida junior star safety Matt Elam has visited the Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers and Indianapolis Colts and visits the Tennessee Titans today and the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday, according to a league source with knowledge of the situation.
Elam is a classic box-safety. He doesn't have excellent size, but has good instincts and range. Elam is an incredibly violent enforcer over the middle of the field. He is currently being projected to go in the late first or early second round by most draft outlets.
Here are his NFL Combine measurables:
40 yard dash: 4.54
Bench Press: 17
Broad Jump: 118
Here's his game tape against Louisville in the 2013 Sugar Bowl:
Here's his college highlight reel. It's very enjoyable to watch:
Although Elam doesn’t have excellent size, he displayed good ability in coverage, as he matched up well against tight ends and slot receivers. However, Elam will need to learn to consistently wrap up when tackling instead of going for the knockout blow. Despite these minor flaws, Elam would be a good pickup in the second round as he’d immediately upgrade the Panthers secondary. Elam would instantly start at the strong safety position, allowing Charles Godfrey to play at the free safety position, where he has had success in the past.
The Panthers draft picture is also getting clearer now. They've worked out the top three safeties in the 2013 NFL Draft. Obviously Kenny Vaccarro is not going to fall to the second round, but the other two top safeties they've worked out (Cyprien and Elam) could fall to #44. If either one does end up falling, don't be surprised if the Panthers select a safety in the second round of the draft.