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100 in 100: Taylor Mays (43 of 100)


Here we go...

Taylor Mays... next to Florida Quarterback Tim Tebow, Mays has received mass amounts of criticism for his supposed inhability to wrap up, going for the knockout hit, and taking bad angles. On the other side of this, the biggest critics have forgot to factor in that he did not receive the best coaching that there is out there. Pete Carroll and the USC Coaching Staff told him to do a job and Mays followed through with what his coaches told him to do. When he was at the Senior Bowl, the coaches told him to do something different from what he was used to and he went out there and did. End result; Mays stepped in front of a pass thrown by Cincinnati Quarterback Tony Pike and intercepted it. On Mays' very first tackle, he came up for the big hit and missed but there were other plays in that game afterwards where Mays had made the correction was wrapping up when making the tackle. The one thing that few have come to realize about Taylor Mays, is that he is highly adaptable and very coachable. Couple that with his natural athleticism and you potentially have a great safety in the making. Everything that Mays has struggled with are small things that can be corrected at the next level if he lands somewhere that will take the time to teach him. The one thing Mays has going for him, is his ability to listen, soak something in, and implement it on the playing field.

Some people have Texas safety Earl Thomas rated higher than Mays as a safety. In my personal observation, I have to disagree. I don't know if Mays can reach the same heights as an Eric Berry, but he does match up in athleticism. If he is directed the right way, the sky is the limit for Taylor Mays.

The USC Safety has four years of college football under his belt and it has been widely speculated that the players that stay longer in college have a better chance to excel at the next level. Now I don't know if that's true or not, but either way I think that Mays made the right decision to stay for his Senior year.

His father, Stafford Mays, played defensive line for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Minnesota Vikings. His career lasted about 8 years from the late 70's to the late 80's. Coach Pete Carroll was a defensive backs coach during that time for the Vikings.

At a very young age, Mays always had the desire to play football and watched alot of film of his Dad when he played. Initially Mays' parents would not allow him to play American Football so he opted for the "other type of football" (a.k.a. Soccer). Eventually his parents would give in to Mays' push to play and he began his journey in the 7th grade... the rest is history.

After the jump, we'll look at some of Mays' Highlights/ Lowlights, his stats, and other accomplishments. I will then at the end provide a projection as to where I think the USC Safety will be selected in this years draft.

 

Normally I provide commentary on what I observed from the video but I have watched enough live game action from Mays to know what is there. I'd like for everyone to draw there own conclusions here and comment below since Mays is one of the more contraversial guys coming out this year.

 

AWARDS AND HONORS:

  • 2006 Second Team All-American
  • 2007 First Team All-American
  • 2008 First team All-American
  • 2008 First Team All-Pac 10
  • 2008 Jim Thorpe Award Finalist
  • 2009 First Team All-American
  • 2009 First Team All-Pac 10

CAREER STATS:

Stats Overview Tackles Misc Interceptions
YEAR TOT SOLO AST SACK STF STFY FF BK INT YDS AVG LNG TD PD
2006 62 38 24 0 0 0 0 0 3 40 13.3 38 0 0
2007 65 36 29 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0.0 0 0 0
2008 53 38 15 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
2009 88 45 43 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.0 0 0 0
2009 Regular Season Game Log Tackles Misc Interceptions
DATE OPP RESULT   TOT SOLO AST SACK STF STFY FF BK INT YDS AVG LNG TD PD
9/5 San Jose State W 56-3 6 1 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
9/12 @Ohio State W 18-15 8 5 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
9/19 @Washington L 16-13 Did Not Play or did not accumulate any stats.
9/26 Washington State W 27-6 4 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
10/3 @California W 30-3 10 6 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.0 0 0 0
10/17 @Notre Dame W 34-27 9 1 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
10/24 Oregon State W 42-36 10 6 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
10/31 @Oregon L 47-20 8 5 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
11/7 @Arizona State W 14-9 5 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
11/14 Stanford L 55-21 11 4 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 1
11/28 UCLA W 28-7 8 6 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
12/5 Arizona L 21-17 9 4 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 2
2009 Postseason Game Log Tackles Misc Interceptions
BOWL OPP RESULT   TOT SOLO AST SACK STF STFY FF BK INT YDS AVG LNG TD PD
EMERALD BOWL Boston College W 24-13 Did Not Play or did not accumulate any stats.

 

SUMMARY AND PROJECTION:

Mays is built somewhat close to how an Outside Linebacker is built but has the speed of a safety or Corner. Alot of speculation has been that Mays will be drafted as an Outside Linebacker but I see him solely as a Safety who will be moved up in to the box at times and used more as a hybrid type of player. I think he can be successful at safety and I dont thin there is any reason to move him to Outside Linebacker. Mays should be a 1st Round selection but has the chance to slip if he has a bad combine outing.

Possibilities -- 1st Round; Possible teams: Giants, 49ers, Seahawks, Texans, Jets, Ravens, Cowboys, Cardinals. Picks 10-32.

For more 100 in 100 articles follow the link below:

http://www.ninersnation.com/section/100-in-100-2010