If you want to talk about speed in this year’s NFL Draft, you’ve got to talk about Taylor Mays, the safety out of USC. This guy is an absolute freak. He stands at 6-3 225 pounds and can run like a freight train. There was a lot of controversy surrounding his NFL Combine 40-yard dash as he ran an unofficial time in the 4.2s but was clocked “officially” at a 4.43. However, there is a video with all the players running at the same time which shows Mays beating Trindon Holliday who ran an official 4.34. Either way, the guys got burners.
To go along with his speed, he has freakish strength as well. He repped 225 pounds a total of 24 times which doesn’t stand out but is very impressive for a guy with arms as long as his. His large wingspan, speed, and strength are all things he puts together to lay bone crushing hits on defenders as he’s a very physical player.
At USC, Mays was more of the guy to punish you for coming across the middle rather than the guy to get the flashy interceptions. In his senior year, he had a total of 88 tackles but only recorded one interception. Although he doesn’t have the numbers in interceptions, he can close on receivers very quickly and usually looks to use his body rather than go for the ball.
The bad thing about Mays that everyone talks about is how he relies so heavily on his athleticism and doesn’t have strong safety skills. This is something that all interested NFL teams will look into thoroughly. His athleticism allowed him to be good in college but the big question is whether or not it will translate into the NFL.
Although many will disagree, I don’t think the Eagles should take the risk on Mays. He may very well be around at the 24th selection but I think the Eagles should pass. I’d rather see the Eagles trade up to make a run for Earl Thomas or hold off and take a player like Nate Allen.
What are your thoughts on Taylor Mays?