4. Marcus Maye, S, NY Jets
When the NY Jets dealt Jamal Adams last offseason, it opened the door for Marcus Maye to be the star of the show. And boy did he flourish.
In his fourth season, Maye put up career numbers across the board. He had 88 tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles, and 11 pass deflections to go with two interceptions. Maye also took a hold of the locker room, becoming an undeniable leader of the young defense.
That being said, the former second-round pick established himself among the top safeties in the NFL. In fact, Pro Football Focus recently ranked Maye the seventh-best safety entering the 2021 season, three spots ahead of his old teammate Adams.
As Maye enters 2021, there is a lot on the line. While he has yet to sign it, he is set to play under the franchise tag. In other words, barring an extension, he will be on a one-year deal.
Now 28-years-old, Maye will be playing his first season under Robert Saleh. In the 4-3 defense, Maye will be utilized all over, and will now be joined by Lamarcus Joyner in the secondary in addition to Ashtyn Davis.
With more talent in the secondary, Maye will be able to be more of a playmaker, rather than having the burden of needing to be a do-it-all defender.
Last season, he earned a career-high 82.9 grade from PFF, ranking fifth among 94 qualified safeties. Assuming Maye continues to perform at that level, there is no reason why he should not be among the favorites to make the Pro Bowl.