The top receivers in the 2012 class all have a tremendous combination of size and speed. Size is especially at a premium in this year's draft with Michael Floyd and Stephen Hill.
Marquis Maze is not one of these guys, but he possesses a very particular set of skills that will allow him to make an impact in the NFL. Though he stands at a paltry 5'8", Maze is consistently one of the most noticeable players on the field with his big-play ability, and the Steelers made a great signing getting Maze after the draft.
NFL.com identifies Maze's athleticism, route-running and open-field ability as his biggest strengths. The scouts are also impressed with his competitive in-game drive.
CBS Sports summarizes Maze's abilities by noting that his quickness and ability to exploit soft-zone coverage as his biggest assets.
Along with his size as a major limitation, on the negative side, CBS Sports cites his technique in route-running. While his explosiveness out of his cuts is solid, he could use some coaching in refining this craft.
All in all, Marquis Maze is an underrated prospect who could end up being a steal in the 2012 NFL draft.
His production at a top program like Alabama cannot be ignored, and he has the talent to contribute as a slot receiver and immediately as a kick and punt returner.
Mike Tomlin and the Steelers really picked up a solid football player. It was very surprising that Maze wasn't drafted, as he has showcased great playmaking ability and solid production in college.
He is the kind of shrewd signing that could pay off on special teams and on offense in the future. The upside here is great.