BTS Video of Bills GM Trading Up to Select CB in Round 1 Goes Viral

Getty Exclusive behind-the-scenes video of Bills general manager Brandon Beane (R) trading up to land cornerback Kaiir Elam (L) in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

The Buffalo Bills selected cornerback Kaiir Elam with their first-round pick of the 2022 NFL Draft on Thursday, April 28. In order to snag the Gators’ alum at No. 23, Bills general manager Brandon Beane traded up, exchanging their No. 25 and 130th picks to the Baltimore Ravens.

No one knew how or when the Bills’ front office officially decided to trade up to land Elam, but on Sunday, May 1, the team’s Twitter account shared behind-the-scenes footage from draft day, offering an exclusive insight into how the deal transpired.

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The video starts inside the Bills’ scouting room two days before the draft began, with the assistant director of player personnel, Terrance Gray, discussing Elam’s versatility as a player with Brian Gaine, the Bills’ senior director of player personnel, the latter whom notes that he’s a “program fit, scheme fit, and cultural fit.”

“Now, we wait and see what happens on draft day,” Gray notes, which takes us to Beane working the computers alongside his staff on Thursday.

After watching two of the top four cornerbacks get selected in the first four picks and the Kansas City Chiefs trading up to land corner Trunt McDufffie at No. 21, Beane knew he had to make a move for Elam.

In the video, Beane tells Gray, “Alright, what is it… Baltimore. Just figure that out,” while Gray says, “Alright,” and Gaine notes, “Shouldn’t take much.” The trio discusses sending No. 25 and their fourth-round pick (No. 130) pick to Baltimore in order to move up, before Beane picks up his cell phone and calls “Eric” — Ravens’ general manager Eric DeCosta — to seal the trade.

With things moving at a rapid-fire pace, Jim Overdorf, Beane’s senior advisor informs him that they’re on the clock, and they immediately call Elam, who was watching the draft from home, to inform him that Buffalo traded up to draft him in the first round.

Elam ran a 4.39 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine and throughout his tenure in Gainesville, recorded 78 total tackles, 26 pass breakups, and six interceptions.

Video of Elam’s Reaction to Being Drafted By the Bills Went Viral

On the flip side of things, the video of the moment Elam found out he was the Bills’ No. 23 overall pick also went viral. In a Zoom interview with the media after his selection, Elam said he had a feeling he might end up in a Bills jersey. “Once I got to Buffalo and id my visit, I just felt something special,” Elam said.

“I feel like it was an environment I could go in and try to compete and learn as much as I can and try to have an immediate impact right away. It’s just a sign of relief because I honestly strive to be the best. Tonight, I wasn’t the first defensive player selected, but I think it’s fuel to the fire and will bring out another edge to my game.”

Elam already sounds like he has the perfect mindset to be a part of the Bills roster, and Beane has no doubt.

“We really felt like he’s going to be a great fit in our defense,” Beane said. “He’s got some versatility in the sense that he can play off, he can play press, he gives us a little size, a little length. He’s got speed if we’re in press-man, anything like that. So, I think it’ll give (defensive coordinator) Leslie (Frazier) more options with what he can do with him.”

Elam Is Ready to Get to Work

While Elam appeared to have a great time the night after getting drafted, joining Bills quarterback Josh Allen, wide receiver Gabe Davis, and tight end Dawson Knox at a Buffalo Sabres game, the cornerback is ready to get to work.

“I believe I’m prepared, but I also believe I have to keep working,” Elam said. “You’re only as good as your last performance. I don’t believe in my past performance. I try to put my best foot forward and that’s something I’m still learning, to put my best foot forward every time I step on that field.”

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