New York Jets: Meet LB Joe Mays


Evening everybody. In can you missed it (I almost did), the Jets added another guy to their growing group of linebackers, Joe Mays, most recently of the Kansas City Chiefs. Tonight, I wanted to give everyone a little bit of background on Mays.

Joe Mays actually didn’t play football until his junior year of high school in Chicago. He played his college ball for North Dakota State, making All-Conference three times. He was drafted by the Eagles in the sixth round of the 2008 draft. Here are the pros and cons from his draft profile:

Positives: Lacks height, but has impressive upper-body muscle structure (sometimes gets too muscular), thick chest, broad shoulders, thick thighs and calves…Best flowing down the line and making plays on the move…Impact hitter on initial contact, showing good balance and adequate body control, sinking his weight properly to drive through the ballcarrier…Gets his teammates lined up, but is better reading keys on run plays than when working in the zone…Fires low off the snap and is combative with his hands in attempts to shed and split double teams…Has a low center of gravity to get under the pads of a lead blocker to clog the rush lane…Comes out of his stance and attacks the ballcarrier with good force and has the hand strength to dislodge the ball from the opponent…Brings his hips and drives hard with his legs to impede the forward progress of a ballcarrier…Good at stacking and controlling multiple blockers, which frees up his outside linebackers to make the play…Stays on his feet well, fighting throughout when working in traffic…Shows good leverage ability taking on offensive linemen…Solid wrapup tackler who will generally bring his man down once he gets a piece of the opponent…Reacts quickly and attacks runners when he sees the cutback lanes developing…Not the greatest, but can get decent pass depth in the short area…More of a bull rusher than a pass rusher, but has a good concept for taking angles that shorten his path to the quarterback…Has better vision on running plays, as he has that explosive initial step shooting the gaps…In pass coverage, he is capable of sticking to tight ends and slot backs — not speed receivers — as uses his hands to reroute.

Negatives: Lacks ideal height and, while that might help him slipping past blockers to shoot the gaps, he struggles to handle bigger receivers in jump-ball situations…Does not have the timed speed to get good depth in his pass drops and stay with the receivers throughout a route’s progression…Needs to do a better job of timing his leaps when competing for the ball at its high point (will jump early or get knocked off-balance)…Has had some stamina issues, as he will run out of gas and disappear for long stretches…Better making his reads vs. the run, as he has just adequate vision and feel for passes into the zone…Height issues cause him to be late at times locating the inside runner working through trash…Not really sudden on downhill plays, lacking the burst to get to the outside running game…Has some hip stiffness in his pass drops and when changing direction working in space…Needs to show better explosion and urgency getting through the hole as a blitzer…Has an outstanding physique, but to maintain flexibility, he needs to keep his weight down and not try to build further muscle development (frame is maxed out and any more bulk will affect his quickness).

Finally, Joe Mays’ stats to date:

Defense & Fumbles

Here is what I see.  When Joe Mays  has had the opportunity to play consistently, he has produced.  2011 was his best year with 83 tackles.  Mays is only 29 years old, so he has good football left in him.

Joe Mays should add quality competition in camp, and has a decent shot to make the team.

Next: Cooper to the Jets in Fansided Mock

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