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USC Safety Taylor Mays

Can Mays silence his critics before April's draft? National Football Post

Print This February 20, 2010, 10:24 AM EST

Taylor Mays: No. 2, FS, 6-3, 230

Mays has a massive upper body for the position with a leaner lower half. He displays good awareness when the ball is in the air and showcases the coordination to go up and knock the pass away at its highest point. He exhibits better footwork than he’s given credit for, but it’s the body control he displays for a man his size that makes him so effective. He possesses impressive closing speed in pursuit, generating big time power on contact as a tackler. Mays displays a good first step and looks like an absolute missile when closing on the ball. He showcases a willingness to go for the knockout hit on defenseless receivers but isn’t nearly as powerful or effective when asked to attack downhill as a run blocker. He has a tendency to overrun ball carriers and struggles to break down at full speed. He doesn’t showcase the type of stack-and-shed ability you would expect from a man his size. He gets too high and leggy when asked to change directions, and it takes him a couple of steps to get back up to speed when asked to redirect. Mays lacks ideal instincts in the pass game, struggles to anticipate throws and always seems a step or two too slow when reacting to the play. He has the range to make up for it at the college level, but it will be a definite concern in the NFL. Overall, he has a rare physical skill set with good ball skills and closing speed, but his lack of instincts could keep him from ever reaching his potential in the NFL.

Grade: 6.3

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