New series we’ll conduct throughout the offseason. A review of individual players seasons, looking at their good, bad, role, and future with the team.
We’ll kick this series off with cornerback Arthur Maulet.
#35 Arthur Maulet – Cornerback (Entering Sixth Year)
Pros: Physical presence. Plays bigger than he is. Willing to support the run. Aggressive when he sees it, flies in and will sacrifice his body to make a play. Strong pursuit from backside of runs, chases the ball hard. Consistent run fills, gap sound who sticks nose in the action. Works to stay clean, good hand use to defeat, and knows how to get around blocks. Impactful finisher, goes low due to size but gets the job done. Semi-effective blitzer off the edge. Technical corner who doesn’t make a lot of obvious mistakes and is assignment sound. Better zone corner than man due to athletic limitations. Comfortable in the slot. Competent special teamer who logged a fair bit of snaps on variety of units (163 snaps – 33.3%).
Good teammate, always involved in the action, standing on edge of sideline, hyped to see others make plays. Great body language, player who seems healthy for locker room. High-energy person.
Notable Clips (Run Game/Screen Game):
Cons: Below average cover corner. Lacks size, length, and physical tools to match receivers consistently in man coverage. Gets pushed and nudged off at top of break. Tackles the catch but doesn’t often compete for the football, struggles to recover when beat. Poor numbers when targeted this season. Won’t kill you but fails to make impact plays in pass game (0 INT, 1 PD across 228 total coverage snaps in 2021). Usage reflected lack of trust/ability in pass game. Saw more time against run-centric offenses than pass-happy ones. Decent blitzer but not a top-level one who can win when blocked, needs free looks based off good scheme.
Notable Clips (Coverage):
Role: Played 16 of 17 regular season games, missed one due to COVID. 369 total snaps in 2021. 367 as slot corner, two as dime defender. 93.2% of work came in nickel packages, only played in dime when injuries forced team’s hand. Despite being healthy, did not play in Wild Card game against pass-happy Chiefs. Played more against run-heavy Ravens (24, 17 snaps) and Browns (22 snaps). Did not see any outside corner or pre-snap safety work. Logged 35 snaps against 12/21/20 personnel.
Future: Pending free agent. Maulet was signed as a versatile veteran to offer something similar to Mike Hilton, who left the Steelers after showing incredible value for the Steelers. Maulet is a light version of Hilton but nowhere near at his level. He’s above-average against the run, below-average against the pass, but a smart veteran who works hard and appears to be solid in the locker room and a positive presence on the field.
At best, Maulet is a slot corner to play against run-heavy teams to offer support in the run game against 11 personnel and occasional work against 2 RB or 2 TE sets when team chooses to put an extra athlete on the field, often against TEs who are threats in the pass game, as a way to offer defensive flexibility while still filling the run.
Could be re-signed on a cheap, one-year deal as depth, but Tre Norwood is likely to take away snaps from him, as he did throughout the season, especially if Norwood can prove himself more against the run.