After taking back-to-back safeties to start the 2017 NFL Draft, it’s fair to question general manager Mike Maccagnan considering all the holes Jets have on their roster.
However, the success of second-round pick Marcus Maye will depend on how Todd Bowles incorporates him with first-round pick Jamal Adams in the secondary.
Adams mentioned he played “95 percent of the [2016 season]” lined up in the slot or against a tight end in his first NFL press conference on Friday. He also played in the box and deep, thanks in part to having three defensive coordinators in three years at LSU.
Maye, meanwhile, has a more limited role, as he struggles in pass coverage. His role could be as a run-stopping safety who plays primarily in the box. It’s what he does best.
While at Florida, Maye recorded over 200 tackles in four seasons and only missed one tackle in 2016, according to Pro Football Focus.
Taking a look at the prospect, I like Maye. He’s arguably the best run defending safety in the 2017 draft class, but definitely has limitations in coverage. However, if Bowles utilizes Adams the way he was used at LSU this past year, it’ll give Maye an opportunity to play a role in which he will thrive.
Why should you like the pick? It gives the Jets a legitimate safety tandem that they can build around for the foreseeable future. Calvin Pryor had a lackluster 2016 season and it appears he may be on his way out, either via trade or once his contract expires after this season. Marcus Gilchrist, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in December, is a likely candidate to be cut.
Why shouldn’t you like the pick? It’s fair to question taking consecutive safeties when New York has needs at quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end, edge rusher and cornerback. There were players still on the board, including Florida State’s Dalvin Cook, Kansas State’s Jordan Willis and fellow Gator defensive back Quincy Wilson.
However, I trust former-NFL safety Todd Bowles to use Maye and Adams in ways that will show off their positive attributes. Therefore, I give this pick a B-.