Florida cornerback Kaiir Elam declared for the 2022 NFL Draft on Monday, he announced on social media.

The star defensive back, who started in 26 of the 34 games he appeared in over his three years with the Gators, will forgo his senior season to enter the professional ranks early.

The former four-star recruit, according to 247Sports’ Composite Rankings, accumulated 79 total tackles, 6 interceptions and 26 passes defended across his three seasons.

He racked up 13 passes defended and a pair of interceptions in his sophomore 2020 season, when he started all 12 games and earned All-SEC First Team honors and was a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award annually given to the nation’s best defensive back.

In his junior season this past fall, Elam only started nine games after an injury against Alabama on Sept. 18 sidelined him for three games early in the season. He still managed three pass breakups against the No. 1 Crimson Tide, but finished the year with only one interception and six total passes defended.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound corner is the No. 17 overall prospect and No. 3 cornerback on Pro Football Focus’ Big Board, and ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. listed him as the No. 5 cornerback. Elam will likely garner first-round attention as April’s NFL Draft rolls closer.

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