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Prospect Profiles: Taylor Mays

Taylor Mays laying the smack down

Taylor Mays laying the smack down

The first prospect in my prospect profiles is going to be a player that plays a position many Giants fans would agree needs some help…and that position is of course Safety.

The 2010 N.F.L. Draft class is an interesting draft class for two main reasons

First there are serious questions about the skilled position players on offense.

The Best WR is Dez Bryant…but he’ll be coming off a year where he didn’t even play becuase  he didn’t tell the N.C.A.A that he hung out with Deion Sanders.

The best TE in the class is Jermaine Gresham and he also did not play this entire season, but that is because of injury.

Last seasons possible Top QB, Sam Bradford also missed the season with an injury.

And this season possible top QB draft choice, Jake Locker, decided to return to school.

But thankfully the Giants are loaded with young offensive talent and will most likely be digging into the deep defense of the draft this year.

Secondly, With a new C.B.A forthcoming (eventually) and the (probable) inclusion of a Rookie Pay Scale, many players who are elegible this year may declare early for the draft in hopes of cashing in before a possible rookie pay scale is put into place.

This draft may become one of the deeper drafts we’ve seen in awhile…we’ll have to see, but a lot of younger players are declaring already.

Anyway, onto Taylor Mays.

I’m profiling Taylor Mays for two major reasons first he’s a player I think the Giants will be very interested in unless they manage to address their safety concerns elsewhere, and two because I think “the book” on Taylor Mays is pretty cut and dry-in other words I don’t think Taylor Mays’ draft stock is going to change dramatically between now and the draft even after the Pro Days and Combines.


(Combine Numbers Will Be Posted Here When They Become Available)

Taylor Mays is 6’3-6’4” 225 to 235 pounds.

Taylor Mays allegedly has run a 40 yard dash in under 4.3 seconds.

This would make Taylor Mays an athletic freak of nature.


Taylor Mays finished this season (via this season with 88 tackles, 0 Forced Fumbles, and 1 INT.

Taylor Mays also has 1 Interception between last year AND this year.

N.F.L. Draft Scout Says:

Read & React: Good key-and-diagnose skills. Aggressive in run support, but disciplined and rarely out of position. Understands his role as the last line of defense and takes good angles to minimize big gains by opponents.

Man Coverage: Faster in a straight line than he is quick in a short area. Struggles laterally and loses a step in his transition due to tight hips. Rare recovery speed and such a rangy defender he can blanket most deep receivers.

Zone Coverage: Controlled aggression in coverage makes him well suited play in a zone scheme. Sees the action and reacts quickly. Loses a step in transition, but accelerates smoothly. Good change-of-direction skills. Reliable open-field tackler.

Closing/Recovery: Rare straight-line speed for a man his size. Reads the action quickly and has great burst to close. Times his leaps well and uses his long arms to bat away passes. Would rather go for the big hit than compete for the ball. Has just four career interceptions — three as a freshman — despite 38 career starts.

Run Support: Has played deep in a zone scheme in the past, but flashes outstanding ability in run support. Good key-and-diagnose skills. Can elude blocks, but is willing to take them on and can discard due to his upper-body strength and long arms. Big hitter who runs downhill toward the line of scrimmage.

Tackling: Reliable open-field tackler. Breaks down well to make the secure stop. Explosive hitter who loves to intimidate opponents. Lowers his shoulder into the ballcarrier and can separate the football from the man. Leads with his shoulder on many of his biggest hits, failing to wrap up securely.

Intangibles: Physically imposing athlete with good overall musculature. Freakish combination of size and straight-line speed. Carroll has publicly characterized Mays as USC’s fastest player; has reportedly timed in the 4.2s at 230 pounds. Good bloodlines. Father, Stafford Mays, was a defensive lineman in the NFL (St. Louis Cardinals, Minnesota Vikings) from 1980-1988.

NFL Comparison: Sean Taylor

Another one of my favorite websites,, says,

Summary: Mays isn’t a free safety at the next level; no chance he pans out there because he is horrible in coverage and has zero ball skills. Mays idea of playing football is running and throwing his body around, which is why I am giving him the nickname “The Trojan Torpedo.” I think Mays can start at strong safety for some team, but he will be pretty average. Mays is the Vernon Gholston of safety prospects. Sure he has great measurables, but so did Gholston. I personally wouldn’t draft Mays in the top 40 picks, but his draft range is all over the board. He could go top five to a team like Oakland or he could fall to the lower part of the first round.

Player Comparison: Roy L. Williams. It’s like someone cloned Roy Williams; Mays and Williams are the EXACT same player. Mays will struggle greatly in coverage at the next level, but he hits hard and is good in run support. Buyer beware.

Lastly one more free analysis from Draft Board Insider.

Scouting Report: Mays is a remarkable physical specimen.  He’s got an impressive physique, long arms, and is just a knot of muscle.  Mays is also a tremendous athlete.  He has impressive straightline speed and quickness and is an intimidating shadow on the football field.  Also on the plus side, Mays is a devastating hitter, and is stout in run support.  He’s a player with a ton of experience, has played against top level competition, and has been very productive.  On the other side, Mays looks completely out of sorts at time, especially in pass coverage, and alone in space.  He takes poor angles to the ball, gets flipped in coverage and shows sloppy technique.  His ball skills are well below average and hasn’t really shown that he has much room for growth at the next level.  In other words he may have tapped out his potential.

Draft Status: Some team is going to fall in love with Mays triangle numbers and draft him early.  How early will depend on how soon the Oakland Raiders are drafting.  Mays is a pure SS prospect, run support only, meaning a two down defensive back.  That’s not first round pick to me, but as I said Skeletor will see this kid run in shorts, and trade up to no.1 just to be sure they get him.  In all seriousness, the shortcomings in his game should push him down but i doubt he falls out of the first round.  May need to work out as a linebacker, if he wants to improve his status.

Final Analysis:  I went into the season expecting big growth and development from Mays in terms of his sloppy technique in coverage, poor tackling, and just overall mediocre skill set outside of run support  But it hasn’t happened.  And I don’t know if it will happen.  Seems that Mays is what he is.  And that may mean he has to move to linebacker where his shortcomings in coverage would be minimized. But in order to do that he’s going to have to learn to take much better angles, and become a much better form tackler.

Reminds me of: Roy Williams, SS Cincinnati- These two guys are so alike it’s scary.  Williams carved out a nice career for himself, which always having it hang around his neck that he couldn’t cover.  The same will hold true for Mays.  In fact I’d cut to the chase while he’s young and make him a weakside linebacker right off the bat, before he gives up too many long touchdown passes

Bartolis’ Summary and Verdict

No One can question that Taylor Mays is an athletic freak and a body that most of us would give an arm for, but there are serious questions about his ability to play football.

Taylor Mays played on a defense that is littered with pro prospects (and has had some very good ones as last year’s linebacker class will show), but in his four years at U.S.C. he has only five interceptions, 3 of which came his freshman year. He’s had two Interceptions the past THREE Seasons.

This is a huge RED FLAG. These scouting reports reflect a possible inability to cover people at the collegiate level, let alone the next level.

It is very worrisome because U.S.C. plays some cup-cake teams and you’d hope he could at least make a play against those teams.

Also, this year manay times Mays looked hesitant to lay an impactful hit on a player, and some speculated if he was trying to save his body for next year after U.S.C. lost their first game and their season was over.



Last year’s version of Darrius Heyward-Bey?

No. Not quite. Mays was a highly touted and recruited prospect coming out of high school, and Mays has played very well at times (Darrius Heyward-Bey never did), but I’m not sure Mays has the ball awarness skills that a player needs in the N.F.L.

Especially a team like the Giants who can’t allow themselves to get beat deep anymore. On the bright side, Mays has the speed (and you can’t teach speed) to never get beat deep, which could help out with DeSean Jackson.

Final Verdict

Taylor Mays is my THIRD favorite Safety prospect in this year’s class, and while the Giants may fall enamored with him it’s scary that he only had five picks is entier career, especially if it’s true that he runs a sub 4.3 40.

IF the Giants draft him, I cross my fingers and hope they have found Sean Taylor, or Bob Sanders and not Roy Williams.

Let me know how you like the format, I might tinker around with it some, but I want to be able to give you insight of what other people say as well as myself.

Like I said I’ll update the information about combine and pro day workouts and other such important information as it comes in.

Have a nice day, everyone.

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46 Responses to “Prospect Profiles: Taylor Mays”

  1. JH says:

    Doesn’t necessarily sound like the sort of DB the Giants need, surely more of a ball hawk would fit the bill. Like the format though, keen to see other prospects come reviewed in a similar style.


  2. To be fair, the only game I watched was USC’s bowl game. I like the measurables Mays brings but unfortunately there’s more to football than that.

  3. TD says:

    oops, I messed up wher my name goes on that last post

  4. chris says:

    where do u get these reports from some say they should jus throw him at linebacker he weighs the same as boley

  5. Júlio César says:

    since we won’t get eric berry, i say let’s go LB/DT… best player avaliable in those positions

  6. Michael S says:

    We need a ball hawk safety!!!!!! If you have to, trade up and get him. We need an Ed reed on our team + we could afford to trade some picks.

    • STEVE says:

      im with u man!!! no more second rate guy on da defense get da best guy we can . i cant go through that no mo!!!!!

  7. Russo says:

    I’d like to see Reese and company trade up for Berry. Look to free agents for linebackers, DTs

  8. Júlio César says:

    3. Tampa Bay (3-13)
    4. Kansas City (4-12)
    5. Washington (4-12)
    6. Cleveland (5-11)
    7. Seattle (5-11)
    8. Oakland (5-11)
    9. Buffalo (6-10)
    10. Chicago (7-9) (Traded to DEN)
    11. Jacksonville (7-9)
    12. Miami (7-9)
    13. San Francisco (8-8)
    15. Carolina (8-8) (Traded to SF)
    16. Denver (8-8)(Traded to SEA)

    All those teams would pick Berry if he’s on the board… you never know what’s on a GM mind, but is 100% sure that seattle won’t pass on him

    anyone know about that draft choice points scale and how much we would need to give away to go up to #7??

  9. Russo says:

    I say give Spags a call and work out a deal.

  10. daneptizl says:

    This is why he shouldn’t be in the conversation. He really hasn’t produced much at all to be considered with a first round pick.

  11. Agree. I don’t think Taylor Mays should be a primary option…

    there is a ball-hawking Safety I love that I’ll get to in the upcoming weeks (hint it’s Earl Thomas)

  12. Shane says:

    First off,

    I am an SC fan and have watched Mays since day one.
    Mays has been a fairly consistent performer at SC, but has never taken a game over in four years.
    What I will say is he has been a factor in most games and is much better than Roy Williams.

    Mays will be an above average SS at the next level.

    • STEVE says:

      mays will cover witten ,cooley ,philly te,better than any one in da draft thats what we need him 4!!! he has da speed not 2 get beat 4 40!!!! like somebody i know.

  13. KevinC says:

    The next wave in safety and DB are for them to be big and tall. This may be a good pick

  14. Michael S says:

    What does it change if we give a 1,3,5,7 to move up and get who we like “need”. No offense but usualy round 5 to 7 draft choices don’t usually end up playing. Other than A.B 44 who would have gone much higher if he didn’t get arrested in college.

  15. on the Giants along recently

    Kevin Boss, Ahmahd Bradshaw, Jonathan Goff, Girbil Wilson, and David Diehl were all 5th through 7th round picks.

    And this is only going from between 2008 and 2003

    6 drafts and 5 starters.

    Those picks matter.

    • STEVE says:

      not now where desperate and im embarassed saftey is big part of defense sense nfl went pass happy.troy, ed, bob, we need one of them types yesterday!!!

  16. Júlio César says:

    exactly, those picks made the diference beetwen a giants and a rams team… it’s easy to find a starter and maybe even a stud with your 1st round pick, but if you get only 1 starter per year you’re going to suffer later

  17. BlueManFla says:

    In my opinion we should not waste a pick on this guy. The last think we need is a C.C. safety. We had one this year. Don’t draft him with the mindset of converting him to Linebacker. We can do that with C.C.Brown. I’d like to see us go for offensive lineman early in the draft. Most of the problems with our run game this year was because we weren’t getting holes opened up for the backs.

    The mock draft I like best is at the following site.

    I like the prospects concept you have come up with and the format. Nice to get different opinions from various sources on how the propects project to the next level.

    • andrew ilnicki says:

      this is something that should be explored — using the big hitting and run stopping of CC Brown in different ways other than at Safety. Good point about LB

    • STEVE says:

      let me give u some numbers 6- 120 5-158 10-142 9-136 that just a few what a lineman can do about that probably than what we had last year.we could do a lot with mayes one on one with any te ,and he faster another not 2 get burn.

  18. Jesse Cassel says:

    Ive said this before I think we need a saftey but Kenny Philips coming back is definatly a help so the number one target position for me would be Linebacker. Danny Clark is gone cause he sucks so Sintem, Goff, and boley as linebacker is just not ganna cut it. I like boley but Goff hasnt shown anything speacial and Sintem hasnt played enough. Linebackers are needed badly, the glaring weakness was one of the main reasons our running defense was so terrible, you never saw a linebacker make a tackle. I realize saftey’s and corners are suppose to help with the run defense but the majority of the tackles have to come from the lineBackers and it looked like we had none on the field

    • regardless of reputation / good guy awards, Clark was the best performing LB the Giants had.

      it may not seem like it, but those are the facts based on his play every snap, every game.

      goff and boley were sub par… sintim cant really be assessed as you point out.

      the Giants do need a bona fide play maker at LB — you watch those Ravens / Jets games this past weekend and what a difference it makes.

      • Jesse Cassel says:

        Exactly Linebackers was always the strong point of the Giants historicly. think about it Jessie Armstead, Carl Banks, Brad Van Pelt, and my personal favorite Lawrence Taylor and there were so many more great giant linebackers. Some of those players played on giants defences that were considered some of the best in nfl history. we were a linebacker rich team which created great defenses, now that we lost that look what happend.

    • STEVE says:

      what team u was watchin? we can get a lb any where somebody who can hit.we need speed somebody can cover a te and not get burned.

  19. twerp says:

    Last thing we need is another safety who can’t cover. CC Brown 2.0 anyone?

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  21. STEVE says:

    listen people (jerry)k.p.will be back no lb. somebody wont get burned big enough 2 stick a te. mayes is the man 4 da job.

  22. STEVE says:

    what linebacker can stop deshon jackson remember him 40, 50, 60, yards drew brees o.k. brett farve what a lb gotta do about that ???

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  25. john says:

    Mays had more tackles in one season than Gholston had in his entire college career. In fact, Mays had more tackles than Brian Cushing over the course of their college careers. He has issues but that’s why they have coaches in the NFL. Saying that he is only a workout warrior is rediculous.

    • Not JUST a workout warrior.

      Mays is exceptional vs the Run…he doesn’t make enough plays in the passing game.

      That’s my issue.

      Talented though, and has a good work ethic so who knows he could be great…but he could be a guy who can’t cover.

  26. Syd says:

    Listen up people. When we were healthy We didn’t get burned like we did this year. All we need is our starters healthy. We didn’t have Jackson running wild in our secondary so relax and remember the D- Line kept the heat on so that he wasn’t a factor. No pressure from the d- line gave jackson time to get free that and break down in the secondary as to what was suppossed to be done. That said the front has to get after the qb and the secondary has to not look like this is there first time in the system. For crying out loud a man got fired because guys were missing and the one’s on the field acted as if major changes were made to the defensive scheme when it was the same scheme as last year. Most important nobody was yelling at anybody for screwing up. everybody was doin the Eli. Head down walking to sideline and sitting on the bench lookin lost instead of getting in each others face and demanding that they make a play the next time thay go out on the field. The old vets didn’t even get on the defense when they were there for the last game at the stadium. They were laughing instead of saying hey don’t you guys have any pride, this is how you want to be remembered when people talk about your last game in this stadium. It was sad and shameful and i was embarressed to be a fan.

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