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Dowdy
01-07-2009, 09:31 PM
Alright, Taylor Mays is receiving a lot of hype in the draftnik community. He's a big guy who can cover a lot of ground, I understand that. He's also supposed to be an amazing workout prospect.

My question, though, is in regards to his stats. He had 4 INTs in three years patrolling the secondary for USC, none of which came in 2008. He also only forced one fumble and did not have a sack in his career. I am sure the scheme he was in at USC can account for some of this, but what do people have to say about his production and potential to be a turnover creating, game changer at the next level? How much of his hype is based on his actual play vs. his measurables?

jnew76
01-07-2009, 09:43 PM
Alright, Taylor Mays is receiving a lot of hype in the draftnik community. He's a big guy who can cover a lot of ground, I understand that. He's also supposed to be an amazing workout prospect.

My question, though, is in regards to his stats. He had 4 INTs in three years patrolling the secondary for USC, none of which came in 2008. He also only forced one fumble and did not have a sack in his career. I am sure the scheme he was in at USC can account for some of this, but what do people have to say about his production and potential to be a turnover creating, game changer at the next level? How much of his hype is based on his actual play vs. his measurables?

This is a really good question. The fact is he does not have the ball skills of Ed Reed.

However, he is not asked to blitz very often which explains the lack of sacks. He has an incredible front seven in front of him that does not let a lot of runners get to his level. I would like to see more forced fumbles and a little better form tackling rather than hitting.

He is a great prospect, but the lack of production is a concern on some levels. Skills and measureables project well to the Pro Game.

Zyro_1014
01-07-2009, 10:34 PM
MAYS IS NOT A STRONG SAFETY! his size may scream that, but hes everything you want in a FS. And honestly im starting

He doesnt have ball skills? he plays centerfield better than anyone in the country. USC runs a cover 1 defense and ask Mays to play deep in coverage and take away the deep ball, which he does. He takes away the ENTIRE field. There is a reason that USC doesnt get beat deep, and that reason is Taylor Mays. His INT numbers are not special, but thats because he has to cover so much ground that all he can do is knock the ball down when he gets there. When Mays gets the chance to pick off the ball he does it.

this is what i have said about Mays the last couple times this type of stuff has come up.

to add on to that.....Mays will be something special when he gets to a team that doesnt ask him to take away the whole field, if hes covering even half the field his INT numbers will improve greatly.

He doesnt have great tackling form, but he doesnt really need it with his size. It will definately be beneficial once he starts coming up to hit running backs, but when WRs come over the middle he is fine. There is not one WR in the country that could honestly say that they feel comfortable running over the middle against USC.

His numbers are down because of how much talent he had around him at USC, but Taylor Mays is the best prospect on that defense.

Paranoidmoonduck
01-07-2009, 10:54 PM
Honestly, I don't really expect Mays' interception totals to ever be that great. His hands are nothing special and he doesn't jump those intermediate routes as well as some would like. He won't be the guy who charges towards the ball and beats the wideout to it like Ed Reed does.

But what he does well, he does really well. He is one of the better centerfielders I've seen, which is made all the more impressive from his size. He reacts really quickly once the ball it out of the backfield, he has tremendous range, and he times his shots to separate receivers from the ball really well. He's a very large and very tall safety who has a chance at becoming the best deep ball preventer in the NFL. He can run stride for stride with those receivers who wreak havoc deep, he's already taller than half the receivers in the league and he can jump with the rest of them, and he'll make some receivers think twice after he's clocked them a couple times. The game he had against Cal this past season might just have been the best I've seen from a deep patrolling safety since Sean Taylor was at Miami.

That said, I don't think he's a playmaker in the way we think of the term. He's not as well-rounded as Taylor was. He's not as crafty as Reed is. He's not as stout as Landry is. But he will prevent big plays, and in doing so he really fulfills the role of free safety. I don't think he's a top 10 player in this draft, but I like his odds in the NFL a lot.

Bruce Banner
01-07-2009, 10:57 PM
PMD is such an underrated poster.

Zyro_1014
01-07-2009, 10:58 PM
PMD is such an underrated poster.

i agree...

definately has very good points.

touche PMD.

619
01-07-2009, 11:24 PM
PMD is such an underrated poster.

In terms of analysis, he's as close to toonster as this site has probably seen since toon stopped roaming these forums on a more regular basis, imho.

d34ng3l021
01-07-2009, 11:41 PM
What would have to happen for Taylor Mays to drop to the Falcons pick?

619
01-07-2009, 11:42 PM
What would have to happen for Taylor Mays to drop to the Falcons pick?

Don't bother thinking about it, lol.

d34ng3l021
01-07-2009, 11:44 PM
Don't bother thinking about it, lol.

Not even a poor 40 time and some marijuana problems?

619
01-07-2009, 11:47 PM
Not even a poor 40 time and some marijuana problems?

First one is damn near impossible and the marijuana allegations would have to be quite serious.

d34ng3l021
01-07-2009, 11:49 PM
First one is damn near impossible and the marijuana allegations would have to be quite serious.

I still don't believe his 4.3 timed 40s.

summond822
01-07-2009, 11:49 PM
Not even a poor 40 time and some marijuana problems?

A poor 40 time can be overturned by looking at his game film and seeing how fast he plays, as well as a feasible excuse why he ran so slow (like John Carlson being sick last year).

As for the marijuana...I think teams would be willing to overlook that to get a player with Mays' athleticism on their team...

619
01-07-2009, 11:51 PM
I still don't believe his 4.3 timed 40s.

Carroll has stated before that his 40 time is as legit as any USC player.

Combine sir, can't wait for the buzz that will follow. ;)

Bruce Banner
01-07-2009, 11:54 PM
Carroll has stated before that his 40 time is as legit as any USC player.


We all know how legit that is.

619
01-07-2009, 11:55 PM
We all know how legit that is.

Well, he's one of the few on the team who plays as fast as he times, that much I can tell you. :rolleyes:

ElectricEye
01-07-2009, 11:55 PM
4.3, 4.4...he's fast. I have my doubts about 4.28 fast. If he does actually end up testing like that though it'll be absolutely freaky.

Paranoidmoonduck
01-07-2009, 11:56 PM
I've heard that some of the faster USC players say that Mays is the fastest player on the squad. Take that with however many grains of salt you deem necessary, but I'd be a bit surprised if Mays' 40 isn't in the 4.3 range.

Zyro_1014
01-07-2009, 11:59 PM
I've heard that some of the faster USC players say that Mays is the fastest player on the squad. Take that with however many grains of salt you deem necessary, but I'd be a bit surprised if Mays' 40 isn't in the 4.3 range.

Carroll has even came out and said that he is the fastest player on the team.

Im projecting a 4.35, im not quite sold on him running lower than a 4.3.

d34ng3l021
01-08-2009, 12:10 AM
I've heard that some of the faster USC players say that Mays is the fastest player on the squad. Take that with however many grains of salt you deem necessary, but I'd be a bit surprised if Mays' 40 isn't in the 4.3 range.

I guess its official. Taylor Mays is my safety crush that I wish the Falcons could land for 2009. Barring a terrible team drafting him (or a team with terrible colors), I will probably get his jersey to add to my center field safety collection of Ed Reed and Laron Landry jerseys. I was going to get a Michael Huff one, but I didn't want a Raider jersey in the Bay Area. Good thing I didn't get it.

Texas Homer
01-08-2009, 12:11 AM
He is a legit top 15-20 pick(imo). I would be happy if my Texans picked him. I know he doesn't have all of the stats that some think he should, but his athleticism and size are through the roof.

Bruce Banner
01-08-2009, 12:55 AM
I guess its official. Taylor Mays is my safety crush that I wish the Falcons could land for 2009. Barring a terrible team drafting him (or a team with terrible colors), I will probably get his jersey to add to my center field safety collection of Ed Reed and Laron Landry jerseys. I was going to get a Michael Huff one, but I didn't want a Raider jersey in the Bay Area. Good thing I didn't get it.

wow deangelo. wow.

d34ng3l021
01-08-2009, 01:00 AM
wow deangelo. wow.

Whats there to wow about?

619
01-08-2009, 01:03 AM
Whats there to wow about?

He's jealous. :D

Xonraider
01-08-2009, 01:04 AM
In terms of analysis, he's as close to toonster as this site has probably seen since toon stopped roaming these forums on a more regular basis, imho.

Thats the reason we sleep together

Bruce Banner
01-08-2009, 01:07 AM
Whats there to wow about?

Are you a Falcon fan or favorite players jock swinger?


j/k

:D

Don Vito
01-08-2009, 01:13 AM
He is going to be a great free safety in the NFL. He has the size, athleticism, and pure ability to be an absolute force. He is just one of those guys who comes around once in a while and is a 'natural' at his position. If you argue that he didn't put up huge numbers than you probably haven't seen him play this year, every time I saw SC play this season he looked great.

Mays' job at USC was to be the last line of defense, and he has always had players in front of him that are as good as anyone in college football and they usually got the job done. That is why the Trojans have had a top defense during his time there, especially this year.

d34ng3l021
01-08-2009, 01:15 AM
Are you a Falcon fan or favorite players jock swinger?


j/k

:D

lol. Just because I like other players from a team because of the way they play doesn't mean I do not like the Falcons. My Michael Vick and DeAngelo Hall jerseys are a testament to that.

Big_Pete
01-08-2009, 01:18 AM
What would have to happen for Taylor Mays to drop to the Falcons pick?

That would depend on how far the Falcons trade up :)

locseti
01-08-2009, 01:42 AM
I was at the Rose Bowl, that hit on Jordan Norwood was vicious. Helmet to Helmet, but still, that will be in the back of opposing receivers minds. This is just the type of rare physical specimen that Al Davis loves, I wouldn't be surprised to see him go at number 7 to the Raiders. Huff will be cut or traded soon anyway, I wouldn't mind Gibril and Mays anchoring the secondary.

d34ng3l021
01-08-2009, 01:55 AM
Man. If the Raiders drafted another DB...

ElectricEye
01-08-2009, 02:00 AM
I don't think people understand just how great Mays is. People have a hard time looking past the standard tackling and interception numbers, and the way Mays was used in USC's defense really makes those number irrelevant for the most part.

USC's pass defense was far and away the best in the nation this year, thanks in large to Taylor Mays. They gave up just 4.57 yard per pass attempted. That's practically a whole yard lower than the next best team. The deep ball virtually nonexistent. USC gave up just 13 passing plays of 20 yards or more. They gave up multiple passing plays of over twenty yards in 3 games. The longest pass completed against them was 39 yards. Mays covered the entire field and he did it so well that you hardly noticed him. He was as close to being a shut down safety, if there is such a thing, as possible. That, along with his freakish athletic ability, should make him a healthy contributer to a defense for years to come.

There's some downsides to his game. Because he only played deep zone, you have to wonder how he'll matchup in one on one situations. I didn't see him used in man coverage this year, but I didn't get a chance to see every USC game either. If someone could fill me in on how he is there, I would appreciate it. He's extremely good in run support for a free safety, but he fails to wrap up sometimes. That comes with the benefit of big hits, but he'll need to learn to tackle better to become a complete player. That's a little thing though. He shouldn't have much of a problem manning up on a guy when he has to either due to his athletic ability. Things should come easy to him.

Menardo75
01-08-2009, 02:39 AM
He is going to be a great Niner that's what he's going to be.

Brent
01-08-2009, 12:40 PM
I guess its official. Taylor Mays is my safety crush that I wish the Falcons could land for 2009. Barring a terrible team drafting him (or a team with terrible colors), I will probably get his jersey to add to my center field safety collection of Ed Reed and Laron Landry jerseys. I was going to get a Michael Huff one, but I didn't want a Raider jersey in the Bay Area. Good thing I didn't get it.
He'll be a Niner and you can convert, since you live in the Bay Area... It's all coming together.

The only thing that scares me is his tackling and if people have noticed, tackling in the NFL is awful. To the point of horrific.

bitonti
01-08-2009, 03:14 PM
I can't shake this nagging feeling he's more Michael Huff or Donte Whitner than Troy Polualu or Ed Reed.

What's the point of a great athletic safety who can't make a pick?

Malaka
01-08-2009, 03:32 PM
I can't shake this nagging feeling he's more Michael Huff or Donte Whitner than Troy Polualu or Ed Reed.

What's the point of a great athletic safety who can't make a pick?

It is not that he cannot make the pick he just has so much cover responsibilities in USC's cover 1. Of course so more INT numbers would be nice, but once he goes into an NFL defense with less coverage responsibility I am sure his numbers in that department will rise.

JaxJag_1
01-08-2009, 03:39 PM
What about his leadership and character, are there any concerns?

bitonti
01-08-2009, 03:51 PM
It is not that he cannot make the pick he just has so much cover responsibilities in USC's cover 1. Of course so more INT numbers would be nice, but once he goes into an NFL defense with less coverage responsibility I am sure his numbers in that department will rise.

those sound like excuses to me. he doesn't even have a single sack... 1 FF... the lack of production is shocking. he's no Eric berry.

Borat
01-08-2009, 04:04 PM
those sound like excuses to me. he doesn't even have a single sack... 1 FF... the lack of production is shocking. he's no Eric berry.

I tend to agree with Bitonti. I know he's the pick du jour in the Niner forum, but I just can't get down with it yet. Not with the 10th pick in the draft. Just seems like a reach for a guy that is pretty much all measurables at this point.

Malaka
01-08-2009, 04:09 PM
those sound like excuses to me. he doesn't even have a single sack... 1 FF... the lack of production is shocking. he's no Eric berry.

I should just become a USC fan because anytime I stand up for one I am making up excuses.

Have you watched a USC game? He is a centerfielder, stats = everything right? wrong... He covers the entire field, he has such great range, he won't be Ed Reed, but he will lock down offenses and free up whoever is your SS. DBs do not need to have great INT numbers (Charles Rodgers), and no sacks from a Cover safety is nothing especially in a cover 1 defense, and on a USC team whose sack leader, Kyle Moore, only has 4.5 sacks.

thule
01-08-2009, 04:10 PM
Just read this figured it related...and I fully agree.

from draftdaddy
Tom Kowalski on WDFN thinks U.S.C. safety Taylor Mays could be the answer for Lions' top pick.

DD.comment: While Taylor Mays is a great athlete and hard-hitter, we are not sure he's top 5 material. We think N.F.L. scouts and execs must look at two potential "red flags" before they over draft him: One, while his reported junior day 40 times (4.24 to 4.32) are eye popping for a linebacker-sized safety, U.S.C.'s track seems to be very fast. Fast to the point where their place kicker ran a 4.49 last spring and their top linebackers ran in the low 4.5's. While Mays might be as fast as his junior day times indicate, expect N.F.L. execs to really push him hard to run at the Combine, so he can be timed on the same track as his peers. If he's really a sub 4.3 guy (or close), he should have no problem repeating that in Indy.

Also, and much more importantly, our sources are indicating scouts will try to delve into the reasons why Mays makes very few "big plays". While many fans in cyberspace have dubbed him the "next Ed Reed", his stats don't back that up at all. Mays has collected only one interception (10/06/07 @ Stanford for 0 yards), forced 1 fumble and recorded 2 tackles for loss in the last two seasons combined! Also, Mays never recorded a sack in his 3 years at U.S.C. Now, contrast that to DD.com's favorite safety prospect, Tennessee star Eric Berry, who has collected 12 interceptions for 487 yards and 3 touchdowns and accumulated 11 tackles for loss (3 sacks) in the last two years. Berry, a true sophomore, will not be draft eligible until the spring of 2010. One last point, Mays lack of big plays the last two years is even more startling to us, when you consider U.S.C.'s very promising, but seldom used freshman safety Drew McAllister, was able to garner 3 picks last season in very limited playing time behind Mays and Kevin Ellison.

Again, we aren't saying Mays can't play, but a smart N.F.L. team has to look at why he has made so few "big plays" the last two years. Is this due to U.S.C.'s defensive schemes and how he is used or is he just a good tackler and hard-hitter, but not a Ed Reed or Eric Berry like game changer, who teams want to use a real high pick on?

Zyro_1014
01-08-2009, 05:13 PM
Just read this figured it related...and I fully agree.

from draftdaddy

They must not know the defensive scheme that USC uses.

thule
01-08-2009, 05:56 PM
They must not know the defensive scheme that USC uses.

I don't know very many schemes that ask you to sit 20-25 yards off the ball and still not make any plays.

Tons of teams run a deep cover 1 coverage...the difference is that elite players make plays.

First example that pops into my mind is the Washington Redskins. Landry plays deep safety over 50% of the snaps...and he is constantly making plays.

I just don't see the nose for the ball out of him....when a WR comes off the line and blocks your corner it's pretty easy to realize that it's a run...yet Mays doesn't flow up field...it's like he thinks all he has to do is let noone behind him and he wins....and if thats the case then you don't draft him in the first half of round one.

soybean
01-08-2009, 06:07 PM
man i hate idiotic sports reporters that don't ever have their facts straight

fast to the point where their place kicker ran a 4.49 last spring and their top linebackers ran in the low 4.5's.

david buehler transferred in as a DB then carroll switched him to kicker.

Dowdy
01-08-2009, 06:44 PM
Hey, thanks for the info guys. I am still not entirely sold on him as a top 5 or 10 pick, but I guess I have a better feel for what he can do.

Babylon
01-08-2009, 06:53 PM
man i hate idiotic sports reporters that don't ever have their facts straight



david buehler transferred in as a DB then carroll switched him to kicker.

And Cush ran a 4.55 and Rey Rey 4.7 so that part of the comment wasnt accurate either.

d34ng3l021
01-08-2009, 07:36 PM
He'll be a Niner and you can convert, since you live in the Bay Area... It's all coming together.

The only thing that scares me is his tackling and if people have noticed, tackling in the NFL is awful. To the point of horrific.

I dont know about converting...It would be nice to sport a 49er jersey around here though (i seriously thought about getting a Vernon Davis jersey too. Phew...). A USC S going to SF can't be a miss.

I do have one problem with Mays though. I know he plays deep all the time, but the fact that he makes SO little plays is disturbing. I think all good defensive players should be able to make plays once in a while, even while defending deep. Ed Reed plays centerfielder all the time, but he finds a way to make plays happen. Even Landry does.

I think Mays needs to learn how to lure the QB into making mistakes and knowing his physical skill set about what he can and cannot do. It may seem like a small knock, but it is still a flaw for me. It raises some questions.

savedbygrace89
01-08-2009, 08:32 PM
I havent got to see the guy play much living out here on the east coast, but from what I have seen he seems like a monster on defense and a player that an offensive coordinator has to gameplan around. But the NFL Combine will show a lot of what the guy is really all about..

ElectricEye
01-08-2009, 09:35 PM
I don't know very many schemes that ask you to sit 20-25 yards off the ball and still not make any plays.

Tons of teams run a deep cover 1 coverage...the difference is that elite players make plays.

First example that pops into my mind is the Washington Redskins. Landry plays deep safety over 50% of the snaps...and he is constantly making plays.

I just don't see the nose for the ball out of him....when a WR comes off the line and blocks your corner it's pretty easy to realize that it's a run...yet Mays doesn't flow up field...it's like he thinks all he has to do is let noone behind him and he wins....and if thats the case then you don't draft him in the first half of round one.
Making plays on the ball and making plays are two different things entirely. Mays makes a ton of plays. He just doesn't pick off many passes. You make a good point about Landry. He plays in a deep cover one quite frequently. Similarly, he only has two career interceptions to show for it at the professional level.

Mays is by no means a ballhawk, but he does make plays. Big ones as well. I would rather have a guy that's capable of eliminating the deep ball than one who picks off three more passes a year.

Babylon
01-08-2009, 09:58 PM
Making plays on the ball and making plays are two different things entirely. Mays makes a ton of plays. He just doesn't pick off many passes. You make a good point about Landry. He plays in a deep cover one quite frequently. Similarly, he only has two career interceptions to show for it at the professional level.

Mays is by no means a ballhawk, but he does make plays. Big ones as well. I would rather have a guy that's capable of eliminating the deep ball than one who picks off three more passes a year.


He's more the i'm going to let you catch it and then hit you as opposed to going for the Int type. Which is probably the safe thing seeing he is the last line of defense.

619
01-08-2009, 10:04 PM
He's more the i'm going to let you catch it and then hit you as opposed to going for the Int type. Which is probably the safe thing seeing he is the last line of defense.

That's a mentality that can always be switched at the next level. He's not an Ed Reed type of playmaker ppl are obviously looking for in a potential top 10 pick, but he's super effective at what he does do. It's all a matter of how he's being coached up and over time the numbers will come and be improved upon.

ElectricEye
01-08-2009, 10:11 PM
I wouldn't exactly say he let's people catch it, but he doesn't go for the ball really either. That's completely fair. I don't think it's fair to say he doesn't make plays though.

Dowdy
01-08-2009, 10:47 PM
In some ways, a player who doesn't take gambles is also a good thing, especially as a last line of defense.

Zyro_1014
01-09-2009, 01:16 PM
I don't know very many schemes that ask you to sit 20-25 yards off the ball and still not make any plays.

Tons of teams run a deep cover 1 coverage...the difference is that elite players make plays.

First example that pops into my mind is the Washington Redskins. Landry plays deep safety over 50% of the snaps...and he is constantly making plays.

I just don't see the nose for the ball out of him....when a WR comes off the line and blocks your corner it's pretty easy to realize that it's a run...yet Mays doesn't flow up field...it's like he thinks all he has to do is let noone behind him and he wins....and if thats the case then you don't draft him in the first half of round one.

he hasnt really had too, when teams run the ball against SC they usually dont get past the front 7.

Bruce Banner
01-09-2009, 01:20 PM
he hasnt really had too, when teams run the ball against SC they usually dont get past the front 7.

1. he will have to.

2. He should be doing it anyways.

just doesn't have the instincts I guess.

Zyro_1014
01-09-2009, 01:25 PM
1. he will have to.

2. He should be doing it anyways.

just doesn't have the instincts I guess.


oh yes, i agree with you on that. I just think his transition to the NFL wont be as bad as people expect it.

Paranoidmoonduck
01-09-2009, 02:30 PM
I don't know very many schemes that ask you to sit 20-25 yards off the ball and still not make any plays.

Tons of teams run a deep cover 1 coverage...the difference is that elite players make plays.

First example that pops into my mind is the Washington Redskins. Landry plays deep safety over 50% of the snaps...and he is constantly making plays.

I just don't see the nose for the ball out of him....when a WR comes off the line and blocks your corner it's pretty easy to realize that it's a run...yet Mays doesn't flow up field...it's like he thinks all he has to do is let noone behind him and he wins....and if thats the case then you don't draft him in the first half of round one.

LaRon Landry? The guy who has 2 interceptions in 32 career starts?

I think you're overreacting to this deep drop safety valve stuff. Mays does disrupt plays and I've definitely seen him flow up field and make hits in the run game. I've even seen him read the screen and race downhill to make the tackle.

Which isn't to suggest that going from perhaps the best (or at least most dominant) defense I've ever seen in college football to an average NFL defense is going to be an easy transfer. His role is going to have to expand. But I've never seen something to suggest that he can't handle such an expansion. And until I do, I can't assume that he won't be able to.