Marcus Maye flourishing with Jets in rookie season

Marcus Maye has lived up to the hype, this as the New York Jets rookie safety has been playing like a veteran at the very start of his NFL career.

It might just be 11 games deep into what might just be a very special career but Maye has looked every bit the part of being an impact player for the Jets. A second-round pick, fans were disappointed and the media skeptical after the Jets took two safeties with their first two picks of last spring’s NFL draft.

But Maye has lived up to the selection and has become a playmaker in the Jets defense.

In this past Sunday’s home loss to the Carolina Panthers, Maye wasn’t targeted once across 31 snaps.

Additionally, Pro Football Focus has him in some pretty elite company. John Gatta of PFF wrote that Maye “has been the least-targeted safety in the NFL on a per-snap basis (once every 57 snaps in coverage), while allowing just 0.12 yards per snap in coverage (third-best among 61 qualified safeties).”

That’s some heady praise from the revered analytics site.

Maye and fellow rookie Jamal Adams, taken in the first round, have the looks and feel of being a very special duo in the Jets backend. Their play this year has justified general manager Mike Maccagnan’s selection of two safeties at the start of their draft while ignoring issues on offense, in particular at quarterback.

The Jets didn’t just get a contributor in the second round in Maye, they got someone who is a building block in their rebuild.

In addition to Maye’s work, linebacker Josh Martin had a big day. The Columbia graduate, in his third year with the Jets, finished with six tackles. PFF’s Gatta notes that he generated one quarterback pressure and one hit in addition to three run stops on 24 run plays. 

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