Matt Elam was drafted with the 32nd overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft and was expected to be one of the main core pieces of the Ravens defensive future after Ray Lewis retired and Paul Kruger, Dannell Ellerbe, Bernard Pollard and Ed Reed left in free agency. At the University of Florida under head coaches Urban Meyer and Will Muschamp, Elam starred for the Gators for 3 seasons and was named First-team All-American and First-team All-SEC in 2012. He was also a semi-finalist for both the Thorpe Award and the Bednarik Award.
Things were looking up for Matt Elam entering the NFL and he even had a decent rookie campaign in 2013, notching 77 tackles and 1 interception while playing out of position at free safety to accommodate veteran James Ihedigbo. There were some struggles in his first year but that is to be expected from a rookie, who should learn from them. Unfortunately, Elam did not learn from his rookie mistakes and got not just worse in 2014, but a whole new level of bad. Missed tackles, blown coverage's and a total lack of knowledge of the game which had Raven fans pulling out their hair caused Elam to lose playing time to guys like Will Hill and Darian Stewart.
The following year, Elam suffered a torn bicep and was forced to miss the entire 2015 season. Matt Elam must put on a solid preseason now more than ever, considering the fact that the Ravens did not pick up his fifth year option on his contract. Its finally time for Elam to truly show his worth and demonstrate why the Ravens selected him with their first round pick in 2013.