The drafting of Marcus Maye in round 2 caught many Jets fans off guard. The team had many areas of need and they chose to pass on certain notable players like Dalvin Cook and Quincy Wilson. It is concerning – Who is to say? The decision to draft back-to-back safeties clearly had influence from Todd Bowles. That is how a functional football team should work. The GM and head coach on the same page, getting the best players for the product on the field. If Bowles feels he needs qualities safeties, then Mac did right by him. Will it work out, hopefully!
After the draft, it is apparent the team put an emphasis on character and leadership. With the way last season went, Bowles is trying to change the locker room culture. Maye appears to be a man of integrity. He skipped the NFL draft to attend his graduation.
“If I make a promise to anybody I want to follow it through” – Marcus Maye
On the field, Maye is the prototypical safety. PFF notes that he had the highest tackling efficiency – He played over 300 snaps and missed just one tackle. Maye probably won’t be asked to play single high looks in cover 1 & 3. He will likely excel in Cover 2, man under 2 and quarters coverage.
Film: Vanderbilt, North Texas, East Carolina, South Carolina
- Disciplined defender as the last line of defense. Good Range. Breaks down and makes the sure tackle.
- Quick recognition with the play in front of him. Plays better downhill, both attacking the ball in the air and the ball carrier.
- Slight stiffness in hips. Can be caught guessing vs double moves when in man to man.
Last season the coverage fell apart when Revis was no longer an island. Consensus was the Jets had to overhaul their corners. The Jets chose a different approach: the safeties. It can make sense if Bowles is adjusting his scheme this year. The Jets added Morris Claiborne, but will rely on Juston Burris and/or Marcus Williams on the other side. Buster Skrine will revert to his natural nickel position. The team added Jeremy Clark and Derrick Jones – they will be brought along slowly so their contributions will be modest this season. Among the group, there aren’t any ‘shutdown corners.’ That isn’t to say they won’t be effective, but giving them help over the top will put them in a position to succeed.
At the moment, they also have Calvin Pryor on the roster. It seemed likely he would be traded after the addition of Jamal Adams and almost certain after the Maye was picked. Being said, it is possible Bowles can utilize him as a weakside linebacker. Pryor has shown to be at his best closer to the line. With Maye and Adams over the top, that can now be implemented.
The Jets secondary needed improvements over last year. Advanced secondary play will allow the corners to take more chances and won’t expose them when they do make mistakes. It is likely the Jets will try to bring their defense back to the high tempo attack that forced 30 turnovers.