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Scouting Jets cornerback Arthur Maulet

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NFL: NFC Divisional Playoff-New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Throughout January and February, we’ve been taking an in-depth look at some of the players the Jets have signed to futures deals since the end of the season. We continue today with a look at former Saints cornerback Arthur Maulet.

The 25-year old Maulet is listed at 5’10” and 190 pounds and was undrafted out of Memphis in 2017. Maulet has played in 12 NFL games, starting one and recording 10 tackles in total. In addition to the Saints, he has also played for the Indianapolis Colts.

Background

Maulet headed to Memphis in 2015 as a junior college transfer, having recorded five interceptions and 20 passes defensed in the previous season at Copiah-Lincoln Community College.

He started eight games as a junior, racking up 38 tackles, two interceptions and seven passes defensed. In his senior year, he played all 13 games and had 73 tackles, 4.5 sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles.

Having attended the scouting combine, Maulet went undrafted but was signed by the New Orleans Saints. While he didn’t initially make their roster, the Saints kept him on their practice squad and activated him twice during the season. He played in six games in a special teams role and was credited with one tackle.

Maulet made the 53-man roster in the following season but was released in September and claimed off waivers by the Colts with whom has saw action in a rotational role on defense. He even started one game against New England, racking up nine tackles for the season as a whole. However, he was released in December and the Saints added him back to their practice squad. The Jets signed Maulet to a futures deal at the end of the season.

Now let’s take a look at what Maulet brings to the table, divided into categories.

Measurables/Athleticism

Maulet lacks ideal size and his combine and pro day numbers were disappointing, which is probably why he went undrafted. He only ran a 4.6 40-yard dash, although his bench press was solid and the explosiveness numbers he posted at his pro day were also good, including a 36.5-inch vertical. His agility numbers, also from his pro day, were disappointing.

With that said, Maulet added some weight and said he had improved his speed and explosiveness heading into the 2018 season by doing a lot of sand pit work.

Maulet doesn’t have very long arms, but does possess pretty large hands.

Usage

Maulet has some experience of playing in the slot, both in his senior year of college and in preseason action with the Saints. He mostly played on the outside with the Colts. His coverage numbers when lined up in the slot have generally been solid.

Maulet also caught a 12-yard pass in college, although he only played a couple of offensive snaps.

Coverage skills

A feature of Maulet’s development has been that he’s shown constant improvement in his rise from the junior college level. Former Jet Aaron Glenn was his position coach with the Saints and praised the improvement he’d made since his rookie year.

With the Colts, he gave up this long touchdown, but otherwise has held up well in coverage at the pro level. However, this illustrates a common issue he has which is allowing separation at the top of the route:

Maulet’s footwork looks smooth and he shows patience in his backpedal and the ability to react and jump a route.

Physicality

One issue with Maulet is that he can tend to get a bit “handsy” down the field. That level of physical play is good, but he is always at risk of being flagged. With that said, penalties haven’t been a major issue for him in his career so far.

Maulet has been employed in press coverage at times and shows good press technique generally.

Ball skills

Maulet’s numbers have been excellent in terms of making plays on the ball. He was second in the American Conference in passes defensed in 2016. As noted he will look to jump routes, but also regularly tries to make a play on the ball after the catch to knock it loose and is adept at going up to contest passes.

In college, he had a reputation for giving up some big plays on deep routes, but - on this play - he stays in touch with his man well and gets his head turned to locate and make a play on the ball:

He dropped a couple of potential interceptions in preseason action with the Saints, but did intercept nine passes in his last three seasons prior to becoming a pro.

Run defense

Maulet made some good contributions against the run with the Colts and Saints and is eager to come up in run support. On one play, he run blitzed off the edge and although the running back was able to slip out of his tackle, his teammate cleaned up to stop the run for a loss.

Tackling

Maulet generally does a good job of limiting yardage after the catch and displays an ability to make good open field tackles like this one:

Missed tackles haven’t been a big issue in his career, although there are times when he’ll make contact too high and will need help to get his man on the ground. He can also be over-aggressive at times, as shown on this play:

Blitzing

Maulet has been a remarkably effective blitzer both at the college level and in preseason action. He hardly ever blitzes, but when he does, he nearly always creates pressure. In Memphis’ bowl game in 2016, he had three sacks.

On this play, his speed around the corner forces the quarterback to throw an interception:

Special teams

Maulet contributed on special teams, both in coverage and as a blocker, impressing with his ability to get down the field. His best moment saw him force this fumble on a punt:

He fielded one punt and returned it 10 yards in preseason action and returned one kick-off 24 yards in college.

Instincts/Intelligence

Maulet’s instincts are generally good as he is quick to diagnose and react. On this play, he blows up a screen by being quick to avoid his blocker:

He can get over-aggressive at times and could be susceptible to misdirection, but didn’t seem to blow any obvious assignments and looked comfortable passing off assignments in zone coverage.

Attitude

When a player shows constant improvement as Maulet has, this is always a sign that he’s been working hard at his technique and learning the playbook behind the scenes and his coaches have praised him for this.

The challenge for Maulet now will be to prove he can keep improving, having already shown enough to earn some playing time at the NFL level.

Injuries

Injuries haven’t been a major concern for Maulet so far in his career, although he was dealing with a hip issue that caused him to miss some time last season.

Scheme Fit

Maulet isn’t a long-armed, athletic corner of the type the Jets constantly seemed to target during the Todd Bowles era. However, he does have some NFL experience and is versatile enough to compete for a role in the slot which should appeal to the incoming coaching staff.

Conclusions

Unlike many of the Jets’ futures signings this year, Maulet has at least had the chance to show he can hold his own in real NFL action. While his measurables might cause some concern that he’s too athletically limited to thrive at the pro level, his film indicates otherwise.

With the Jets expected to add some cornerback talent during the offseason, competition for roles is likely to be tough so Maulet will have to make the most of whatever opportunities he can get due to injuries. However, he shows promise and it’s possible he hasn’t yet fully realized his potential.