NFL Draft 2010: With the 49th pick, the San Francisco 49ers select Taylor Mays, S, USC


With the 49th pick of the 2010 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers selected Taylor Mays, S, USC.

The second round got a bit crazy, leaving the 49ers with a wide variety of possibilities at the 49th overall pick. They went with a guy who won't need to start right away, but fills an area where need is not too far off, at strong safety. I'm a big Michael Lewis fan because he is great in run support and does what is asked of him. However, after his concussions this past season, it's clear he's not going to be in the NFL, or at least with the 49ers, for a whole lot longer. In Mays, the team gets a guy who could slot right into that role in the future. Many considered Mays nothing more than a big-hitter, lacking in coverage skills, but given the role of Dashon Goldson as the proverbial "ball-hawk," Taylor Mays is a very nice complementary pick.

After the jump, I've posted some background info courtesy of the NFL.

Most sons grow up wanting to be just like their fathers. Taylor Mays, however, did not follow the same football path of his father, Stafford, who was a 255-pound pass rusher during his National Football League career with the Cardinals (1980-86) and Vikings (1987-88).

"My dad retired in 1989, so it wasn't like I ran around NFL practice fields when I was young. But he gave me a lot of insight. He could tell me about things because he went through them," said Mays. Mays instead became a safety, commanding the center of the football field while stationed deep in the secondary. Built like a linebacker, but blessed with the speed that many cornerbacks covet, the Trojans defensive back relished his role as the man assigned to keep the opposition from scoring.

It was a natural fit for Mays playing in head coach Pete Carroll’s zone concept. A former prep track star, his quickness, combined for the perfect set of skills. Carroll was an assistant coach with the Vikings when Taylor’s dad played in Minnesota. Mays developed quickly and was thrust into the starting lineup after just one college game under his belt as a true freshman. He was productive his entire career, delivering 276 tackles in 51 games at USC. Mays was projected to be a first round pick in the 2009 NFL draft, but returned to school for his senior season. 

At O’Dea High School, Mays was one of the most highly-touted prep players in the country. His blazing speed and athleticism made him star on both the football team and the track and field squad, where he was a two-time 3A state champion in the 100 and 200 meters. In 2004, Mays earned Student Sports Junior All-American honors while posting 89 tackles, five interceptions, and five pass deflections defensively, with 614 yards and seven touch-downs on 25 receptions (20.6 avg) on offense. He also returned twelve punts for 392 yards (32.7 avg) and three touchdowns.

Niners Nation Big Board

1. Eric Berry, S, Tennessee - Kansas City Chiefs - #5
2. Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State - Seattle Seahawks - #6
3. Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska - Detroit Lions - #2
4. C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson - Buffalo Bills - #9
5. Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa - Green Bay Packers - #23
6. Joe Haden, CB, Florida - Cleveland Browns - #7

7. Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma - Tampa Bay Buccaneers - #3
8. Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho - San Francisco 49ers - #17
9. Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma - Washington Redskins - #4
10. Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers - San Francisco 49ers - #11
11. Earl Thomas, S, Texas - Seattle Seahawks - #14
12. Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma - St. Louis Rams - #1
13. Rolando McClain, ILB, Alabama - Oakland Raiders - #8
14. Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State - New York Jets - #29
15. Taylor Mays, S, USC - San Francisco 49ers - #49
16. Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State - Dallas Cowboys - #24
17. Brandon Graham, OLB, Michigan - Philadelphia Eagles - #13
18. Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
19. Charles Brown, OT, USC
20. Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame - Carolina Panthers - #48
21. Sergio Kindle, DE/OLB, Texas - Baltimore Ravens - #43
22. Jahvid Best, RB, California - Detroit Lions - #30
23. Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida - New York Giants - #15
24. Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech - Tennessee Titans - #16
25. Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee - Arizona Cardinals - #26
26. Terrence Cody, DT, Alabama - Baltimore Ravens - #57
27. Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers - New England Patriots - #27
28. Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame
29. Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida - Pittsburgh Steelers - #18
30. Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno State - San Diego Chargers - #12
31. Nate Allen, S, South Florida - Philadelphia Eagles - #37
32. Roger Saffold, OT, Indiana - St. Louis Rams - #33
33. Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida St. - New Orleans - #32
34. Brandon Spikes, ILB, Florida
35. Vladimir Ducasse, OG, Massachusetts
36. Jared Odrick, OT, Penn St. - Miami Dolphins - #27
37. Carlos Dunlap, DE/OLB, Florida St. - Cincinnati Bengals - #54
38. Dexter McCluster, RB, Mississippi - Kansas City Chiefs - #36
39. Jerry Hughes, OLB, TCU - Indianapolis Colts - #31
40. Sean Weatherspoon, OLB, Missouri - Atlanta Falcons - #19
41. Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford - Minnesota Vikings - #51
42. Everson Griffen, DE, USC
43. Mardy Gilyard, WR, Cincinnati
44. Jared Veldheer, OT, Hillsdale
45. Brian Price, DT, UCLA - Tampa Bay Buccaneers - #38
46. Jon Asamoah, OG, Illinois
47. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech - Denver Broncos - #22
48. Kareem Jackson, CB, Alabama - Houston Texans - #20
49. Colt McCoy, QB, Texas
50. Chad Jones, S, LSU
51. Arrelious Benn, WR, Illinois - Tampa Bay Buccaneers - #39
52. Koa Misi, DE/OLB, Utah - Miami Dolphins - #40
53. Morgan Burnett, S, Georgia Tech
54. Tyson Alualu, DT, California - Jacksonville Jaguars - #10
55. Chris Cook, CB, Virginia - Minnesota Vikings - #34
56. John Jerry, OG, Mississippi
57. Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma - Cincinnati Bengals - #21
58. Brandon Ghee, CB, Wake Forest
59. Daryl Washington, OLB, TCU - Arizona Cardinals - #47
60. Joe McKnight, RB, USC
61. Javier Arenas, CB, Alabama - Kansas City Chiefs - #50
62. Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Georgia Tech
63. Mike Johnson, OG, Alabama
64. Damian Williams, WR, USC
65. Jordan Shipley, WR, Texas
66. Perrish Cox, CB, Oklahoma State
67. Jacoby Ford, WR, Clemson
68. Tim Tebow, QB, Florida - Denver Broncos - #25
69. Navarro Bowman, OLB, Penn State
70. Sean Lee, ILB, Penn State - Dallas Cowboys - #55
71. Reshad Jones, S, Georgia
72. Ricky Sapp, DE, Clemson
73. Ciron Black, OT, LSU
74. Dominique Frank, CB, Oklahoma
75. Brandon LaFell, WR, LSU
76. Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, CB, Indiana (PA)
77. Selvish Capers, OT, West Virginia
78. Kyle Calloway, OT, Iowa
79. Eric Norwood, OLB, South Carolina
80. Corey Wooton, DE, Northwestern
81. Mitch Petrus, OG, Arkansas
82. Dan LeFevour, QB, Central Michigan
83. Cam Thomas, DT, North Carolina
84. Lamarr Houston, DT, Texas - Oakland Raiders - #44
85. Tony Pike, QB, Cincinnati
86. T.J. Ward, S, Oregon - Cleveland Browns - #38
87. Rob Gronkowski, TE, Arizona - New England Patriots - #42
88. Ben Tate, RB, Auburn
89. Greg Hardy, DE, Mississippi
90. Amari Spievey, CB, Iowa
91. Matt Tennant, G, Boston College
92. Taylor Price, WR, Ohio
93. Thaddeus Gibson, LB, Ohio State
94. Eric Decker, WR, Minnesota
95. Montario Hardesty, RB, Tennessee
96. Alex Carrington, DE, Arkansas State
97. Torrell Troup, DT, Central Michigan - Buffalo Bills - #41
98. Jamar Chaney, LB, Mississippi State
99. Marshall Newhouse, G, TCU
100. Jeremy Williams, WR, Tulane

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