The University of Florida is well-known for its uncanny ability to pump out NFL-ready talent.
Matt Elam has risen to the cream of this year's crop, not only amongst his Florida teammates, but across the entire ranks of the 2013 draft class.
The hard-hitting safety has a lot of promise, which gives him a chance of hearing his name called late on Day 1 or at the very least early on Day 2.
But before we get to the name-calling, let's take a closer look at this former Gator.
Name: Matt Elam
Birthday: September 21, 1991
Hometown: Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
High School: William T. Dwyer High School
Matt Elam gained about as much praise any high school athlete possibly can. He played both sides of the ball at William T. Dywer High School and nearly ran for 2,000 yards as a senior. He was named the Florida Gatorade High School Player of the Year and also received the coveted Florida "Mr. Football" award for the best player in the state.
2010: 13 games, 22 tackles, 1.5 TFL, 1 sack, 1 pass deflection
2011: 13 games, 78 tackles, 11 TFL, 2 sacks, 2 interceptions, 9 pass deflections, 2 forced fumbles
2012: 13 games, 76 tackles, 11 TFL, 2 sacks, 4 interceptions, 9 pass deflections, 1 forced fumble
Matt Elam saw limited playing time his freshman year, but truly shined as a starter his last two seasons in Gainesville. He put up excellent numbers in pass coverage, deflecting nine passes as a sophomore and junior while combining for six interceptions as well. The most impressive stat lines, however, are the 11 tackles for a loss and two sacks that he posted in back-to-back seasons. That means that not only did he do a phenomenal job in coverage, but he was also a threat to wreak havoc in the backfield.
Weight: 208 pounds
Arm Length: 32 5/8"
Hand Size: 9"
40-yard dash: 4.54 seconds
Bench Press: 17 reps
Vertical Jump: 35.5"
Broad Jump: 118.0"
Matt Elam put up some solid results at this year's combine, good enough that he felt confident standing by those numbers rather than participating in the events again at his pro day. He is a bit undersized for a safety, but has a high enough vertical where it shouldn't affect his play too much. His speed is at the top of his draft class, as his 4.54 second 40-yard dash was good enough to rank him sixth amongst all safeties.
Matt Elam was the top-ranked safety prospect (according to ESPN) entering college in 2010, and he certainly lived up to the hype.
Florida's star safety played in all 39 games during his three-year collegiate career, earning the starting role prior to the start of his sophomore season.
As a junior in 2012, he was named team captain en route to a stellar campaign, which earned him first-team All-American honors from the Associated Press.
Elam ranked fourth in the SEC in interceptions (four) as well as eighth in solo tackles (58) last season.
Matt Elam is very effective when playing close to the line of scrimmage and was often lined up in the box at Florida.
He's an excellent blitzer with good instincts who is also extremely versatile in coverage. He does a nice job jamming receivers in the slot and can also drop back as a single-high safety with ease.
Elam plays with a lot of energy but needs to maintain a sense of urgency on every down. He is too often seen standing around while others make plays.
Rather than always trying to deliver a crushing blow, he needs to improve on his form tackling to become a more consistent tackler.
He has a tendency to sit back and wait for screen plays to develop, which is surprising giving his reputation for being aggressive and making big hits.
Some scouts worry about his size and his inability to come down with a 50-50 ball, although he does a nice job of using his hands to knock away balls from receivers.
All-in-all, the hard-hitting, high-energy Florida star has a lot of athleticism and talent that will warrant a relatively high draft pick.