Jets rookie S Marcus Maye has been one of the best players at training camp so far, per NY Daily News' Manish Mehta.
Maye, the Jets' second-round pick out of Florida, was known to be extremely aggressive and instinctive coming in, and he has certainly shown CB Morris Claiborne he is NFL-ready.
"You can tell: He's a guy that's all about his business," Claiborne said. "He's just aggressive and smart. You wouldn't expect the football smarts from him at this stage. But he's picking up the defense well and going out and making plays."
Maye's physicality was showcased when he landed a crushing blow on another rookie, TE Jordan Leggett. Maye hit Leggett so hard his own helmet flew off.
"Everything was buckled," Maye said when asked if his chin strap was in place. "I think it just popped off. I had to pick it up and put it back on."
Creating turnovers has also been a daily occurance with Maye at practice. He secured a 60-yard pick-six last weekend, and has had multiple chances for more interceptions if only he could keep them in his grasp.
This aspect of Maye's game is something he believes you can't teach. It's natural.
"It's instinctive," Maye said. "You can't coach effort. It has to come from within. (Defensive backs) coach (Dennard) Wilson preaches that every day. He's not here to coach effort. He's here to get us better. So, that has to come from within yourself. It's just been an instinct that I've had since I was young playing the game: See ball. Get ball."
Maye's game isn't one dimensional. He prides himself on being versatile for the Jets to put him wherever they please.
"You got to be able to hit somebody coming across the middle or along the sideline. You got to step up in the hole," Maye said. "When you're back deep, you got to be able to go sideline to sideline and get interceptions. I feel like with the ability that we have in our secondary, it allows us to play deep or play in the box."
Fellow rookie, Jets' first-rounder S Jamal Adams, says Maye is entirely different off the field. When he gets between the hashes, it's a whole other person.
"How do I describe Marcus?" Adams said of his roommate. "Marcus is a guy that is really mellow at time. On the field, he's full throttle. Off the field, he's real laid back. He says a little bit, but you won't get too much out of him."
As rookies do, Maye has gone through growing pains, but he knows that when the lights turn on at MetLife Stadium, he will be ready to make an impact for the Jets.
"As soon as those lights come on," Maye said, "I'm full force."
The 24-year-old amassed 121 tackles, five interceptions, two fumble recoveries, and 16 passes defended in four years at Florida. He only played in nine games last season after suffering a broken arm that kept him limited with the Jets this spring.