A lot of teams in college football nowadays like to brand themselves the “DBU”. Last season we saw the Gators produce two first round defensive backs in Vernon Hargreaves III and Keanu Neal. While Ohio State may lead the charge in that category this season, Florida is not too far behind. Now this year, corners “Teez” Tabor and Quincy Wilson could both end up in the first round, but Marcus Maye is another member from that secondary who could be off the board by the end of Day 2.
With the loss of Keanu Neal, who served as the leader of the defensive backfield in 2015, Marcus Maye stepped up in a huge way and helped shoulder Neal’s departure while establishing himself as the new leader of the secondary.
In a draft class insanely deep at the safety position, deeper than most think, a lot of guys such as Marcus Maye are flying under the radar right into the 3rd-4th round range. Whoever takes the chance on Maye gets a player with a lot of starter qualities.
Name: Marcus Maye
Size: 6’0”/210”/32 1/2” Arm Length/9 1/8” Hands
Comparison: Patrick Chung (New England Patriots)
Draft Grade: 3rd Round
Positives: Experience playing all over the field including nickel – excels most in the box as a run supporter. Patient yet aggressive. Physical, downhill safety who gets involved against the run. Instinctive in the front 7 and reacts well to change of direction. Anticipates cutbacks when patrolling the backend. Solid overall tackling form. Utilizes hands well on tackle approach – keeps them wide upon engagement then snatches them forward with force. Capable of making 1-on-1 tackles in space. Willing help tackler. Makes a difference with his ability to knock the ball free – forced 5 in 2015 which ranked 2nd in the nation. Speed, range and the ability to close. Displays good recognition in zone coverage. Plays the ball with good timing and will leap with his hand out to bat it down. Physical, heavy hands at the point of attack with punch. Functionable footwork out of slot. Visible on-field leadership qualities.
Negatives: Doesn’t perform well playing behind the ball. Struggles to mirror receivers in man coverage. Poor foot quickness down sideline. Displays a bit of hip tightness. Lacks viable instincts as the centerfield. Takes poor angles in pursuit shooting down from a safety slot. Stands frozen on double-moves. Broke arm this past season.
Outlook: A bit misused at Florida, Maye is best fit as a box safety in the NFL. He excels most with the play in front of him with the instincts and ability to attack the ball. Florida lined him up all over the field and his experience in the slot will be appealing to teams. He can play both the strong safety and free safety positions. Although, you don’t want him as the single-high safety. Maye is a physical, downhill thumper who presents an imposing presence to opposing offenses. In the correct role, Maye will flourish at the next level. In a deep safety class, I like him in the 3rd round which seems to be his likely landing spot.