Marcus Maye 2017 NFL Draft Profile

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GAINESVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 03: Marcus Maye #20 of the Florida Gators in action during the game against the Massachusetts Minutemen at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 3, 2016 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

Overview
Position: Safety
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 210 pounds
School: Florida Gators

Marcus Maye 2017 NFL Draft Profile

The Florida Gators secondary lost two first round picks in the 2016 NFL Draft, but somehow have three more high caliber players this year. Marcus Maye will join Quincy Wilson and Teez Tabor this year along with Keanu Neal and Vernon Hargreaves of the year before as the stud secondary of the Gators finds it way across the NFL.

Coming out of high school in his home state of Florida, Maye was a four-star recruit. He came out as the 13th rated player in the state and fifth-ranked safety across the country. Maye played a lot of special teams as a freshman but still did see the field at times. He recorded 16 tackles, one for loss and added an interception.

As a sophomore, he started to see more defensive playing time. In 11 games, Maye put up 62 tackles, three for loss and added another interception. His junior season was likely his best. Maye recorded 77 tackles and added two interceptions and six passes defended. He was an All-SEC player and was also named to the All-American team.

Maye came back for his senior year, and while it was another successful season, it ended on a sour note. He recorded 50 tackles in nine games but missed the Gators last four games with a broken arm. Still, his reputation and beginning to his year had him named to the second team All-SEC. The injury has sidelined him for most of the draft process, but he recently put in a workout at his Pro Day that had NFL scouts buzzing.

Strengths

  • Versatility; can play deep, in the box and in the slot.
  • Great run defender.
  • Plays with good instincts.
  • Always near the ball.
  • Solid tackler who can add in big hits.
  • Long arms to make last second tackles.

Weaknesses

  • Most likely better in the box than playing over the top.
  • Late to react when playing zone and can be beaten by the deep ball.
  • Stiff hips hurt him in man coverage.
  • Tends to follow the quarterback and not his man.

NFL Comparison: Antoine Bethea

Teams with needs at position: Tennessee Titans, New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams

Projection: Late second to early third round

Bottom Line

Maye is an interesting prospect thanks to his versatility. He is a free safety with the mind of a strong safety. He feels most comfortable in the box, though, and that may be where he fits best in the NFL. Maye has played some slot, but he is not the best in man coverage. Where he would thrive is in a role where he can play robber in a Cover-1 scheme, or play two deep next to another safety. He can play in the box to defend the run as well but likely will not live in the box thanks to his range and ability to defend tight ends and slot options over the middle of the field.

Maye might not start right away, but he has a lot of the skills, and if he can learn some more discipline he has the upside of an NFL starter. He is not quite the first round talent like his teammate Keanu Neal, but in the second or third round, he would be a value for any team.

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