Did the New York Giants find a stud defender in David Mayo?

New York Giants, David Mayo
Oct 10, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots running back Sony Michel (26) is tacked by New York Giants outside linebacker David Mayo (55) during the first half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

After rookie linebacker Ryan Connelly went down in week three for the New York Giants with a torn ACL, linebacker David Mayo subsequently filled his spot. The expectations for the position dropped to a low-point, but Mayo has risen to the occasion and played well despite the lack of confidence in his abilities.

When you hear the name David Mayo around the Giants, his mentality, intelligence, and tenacity are all part of the conversation. He’s the definition of an all-around solid player, and he’s played that way in the last few weeks. Handling the middle of the defense while Connelly is out wasn’t precisely what Mayo envisioned his role being this season, but he has had experience doing so before with the Carolina Panthers. In fact, it seems as if he enjoys the duties.

Where has David Mayo contributed to the New York Giants?

Mayo has not only showed he’s of value on the field, but he’s an asset in the locker-room as well, acting as a voice of reason and helping his teammates develop into better players. He’s precisely the type of player general manager Dave Gettleman went out to find in an attempt to shift the atmospheric pressure in the club-house. Interestingly enough, Mayo was a former disciple of Gettleman, so the GM knew exactly what he was getting. That’s the benefit of experience.

This past offseason, however, Mayo signed a two-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers but was later cut after moving his family out to the west coast. It was a blessing in disguise considering where he ended up — calling the shots on the Giants defense and showing he still has plenty of gas left in the tank.

“A part of being a pro is even when you don’t know when your opportunity is going to come, you have to be ready when your opportunity does come up,” the linebacker said. “That’s what I’ve focused on my entire career.”

Defensive coordinator James Bettcher even raved about Mayo’s work ethic:

“I love what David Mayo has done, I really do,” Bettcher said. “He’s come and worked his tail off. David’s another guy that loves the game. This guy really loves the game, he’s tough, he’s physical.”

In his five-year career, Mayo has already set career highs in nearly every category. He currently sits at 30 combined tackles, 18 solos, 0.5 sacks, and 1.0 QB hit. Those numbers don’t necessarily jump off a screen and poke you in the eyes, but his 12 totals tackles last week, and two fourth-down stops justify the decision made by Gettleman to sign him.

Mayo is quickly becoming accustomed to the defense and is seemingly thriving in the role. That’s a massive benefit to a team that lacks depth at nearly every position. The Giants will likely extend him and utilize his talents in a reserve role once Connelly returns in 2020.

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