Elam out to prove he’s “best college safety” in this draft

Matt Elam expected to be off the board by the time the Ravens picked. He didn’t get the vibe that he’d be headed to Baltimore. Maybe Carolina or Cincinnati, but not the Ravens.

Yet, it was Baltimore that saved him from falling to the second round, taking him at No. 32 Thursday, and Elam said he now has something to show the rest of the teams that let him slide.

“I just want to go out and prove to them, and make them realize why I feel like I was the best college safety coming out,” he said via conference call. “So I’ve got a big chip on my shoulder. I’m going to work and I’m going to show it.”

So what exactly does the Florida product think he can bring to the Ravens?

“I feel like I’m going to bring a lot of competitiveness, a lot of energy to a great defense already,” Elam said. “I just feel excited to have the opportunity, just coming in, a great player like Ed Reed, who was back there before, that’s a lot of big shoes to fill. I’m coming in to do all I can to get wins and hopefully win a championship.”

Elam has had some exposure to the NFL through his older brother, Abram, who has played safety for the Dallas Cowboys, New York Jets, Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs over eight seasons in the league.

“I feel like it gives me an advantage because my brother has a lot of experience,” Elam said. “He’s played in the league and he knows what it takes. He’s been giving me a lot of advice, like covering and the way to train and the way to take care of my body. It’s just being a pro. That’s what he taught me the most.”

Perhaps the reason some teams didn’t view Elam as the best college safety was because of his height. At 5-foot-10, he’s a little undersized for the position.

But that didn’t deter the Ravens and isn’t a concern to Elam.

“I just feel like my size doesn’t matter because I’m a great competitor, I’m flying around, I’m hitting guys, I’m hitting guys bigger than me,” he said. “So I feel like size doesn’t matter.”