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PFF scouting report: Marcus Maye, S, Florida

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)

Name: Marcus Maye

School: Florida

Position fit: Box safety

Stat to know: Second-highest run-stop percentage among SEC safeties in 2016 — both overall and when lined up within 8 yards of the line of scrimmage.

What he does best:

  • Has an NFL body in terms of size and strength.
  • Ranked first among FBS safeties with at least 300 snaps in tackling efficiency (one missed tackle on the season), which is a product of his ability to square up to his target and keep his feet.
  • Flashes the ability to close effectively on plays in front when he reads plays properly.
  • Works downhill well when playing “quarters” coverage.
  • For his college career, he allowed just 54.8 percent of passes thrown into his coverage; in 2016 gave up just six completions on 19 passes were he was the primary defender.
  • In 2016 gave up just one touchdown into his coverage, compared to four in both 2014 and 2015; improved his QB rating against more than 40 points this past season (50.3).

Biggest concern:

  • Tends to lose track of receivers when tracking the ball in the air.
  • Looks choppy when changing directions and will give up ground in transition. Covered the slot quite a bit in college but will likely struggle if matched against better slot receivers at the next level.
  • Struggles to track receivers in option routes in the middle of the field.
  • Speed limitations are a real liability on the back end; should not be asked to cover deep third at the NFL level.
  • Both in zone and man, tends to attack the first thing he sees, which will at times put him out of position.

Player comparison: Vonn Bell, New Orleans Saints

Bell is an efficient tackler who is capable of making plays in coverage underneath, but can be exposed downfield because of playing speed limitations.

Bottom line: Maye has an NFL-ready body and has been one of the best run-stopping safeties in the SEC each of his three years at Florida and looks to be able to contribute closer to the LOS early in his career. Maye does need work in coverage specifically in his change of direction and his ball skills. It seems unlikely that he’ll ever be able to cover the quicker receivers underneath, and also does not display the long speed needed to play on an island in the deep middle. He needs to play in a scheme that either uses two safeties high, or play in the box for a cover-3 heavy scheme. With his speed and athletic limitations, he is likely Day 3 prospect.

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