Today we will take a look at USC FS Taylor Mays. The recent roster moves have made this a very unlikely pick but Mays combine numbers and workouts have him as one of the must talk about wildcards of the draft. Mays is this year freak of nature specimen. The build of a linebacker with wide receiver speed. Mays would have been the top safety out last year but came back to college and his stock has dropped quite a bit but is still looking to a mid to late first round pick.
The USC Trojan star is a beast at 6-3 and a rock solid 230 lbs. He ran an official 4.43 at the combine but many simulcasts have shown the combine clock to be wrong and the 40 time to be much closer to a flat 4.30. That kind of speed with the massive build of Mays is a coaches dream.
Taylor Mays 6-3, 230 lbs.
Why this makes sense...Taylor Mays plays with a mean streak, something the Eagles could really use in what became in my opinion a pretty soft defense last year. Mays is not an excellent cover safety but has the physical talent if he takes to proper coaching. Mays will bring a level of intensity that was lacking with the departure of Brian Dawkins last year. New secondary coach Dick Jauron is regarded as a quality secondary coach and would get a nice project to work with.
The Eagles are currently relying on Marlin Jackson coming off a major injury and two young but limited youngsters in Quintin Demps and Macho Harris. Jackson if healthy could prove to be a solid option but that is a big if at this point. Demps and Harris are young and can improve but the ceiling for these guys is very limited. Fringe NFL players really...Demps can find a niche as a return man and Harris could be a spot starter/backup in the league but I don't see much more for them. Certainly not the guys I want year in and year out at the safety spot.
Why this will not happen...Mays is a coverage liability. The Eagles have struggled for the last few years with FS struggling in coverage. Whether or not management is correct they feel they are close to a title and will not give the keys to the FS position to an immensely talented albeit raw rookie.
The numbers game also plays against this pick. Marlin Jackson makes three logical FS candidates next year not including any Sheldon Brown switch rumors. Ellis Hobbs was resigned and the secondary is now a very crowded place.
Verdict...I'll pass. Workout warrior would be the perfect phrase to describe Taylor Mays. He's probably a second round talent who will go much higher because of his off the chart physical tools. There are too many big ego's making the personnel decision on these NFL teams for somebody not to take a shot on him early thinking they will mold him into the next great safety.