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NFL Draft 2010: New 49ers safety Taylor Mays scouting report


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The excitement of adding Taylor Mays in round 2 has me thinking it's time for a new thread. The 49ers have one more pick today, the 15th pick of the 3rd round. The 49ers still have some needs to fill, but it will be interesting to see if they go into more of a BPA zone. Mays may have been BPA, but the need was also there at safety. My pick in round 3 is cornerback, although that obviously depends on what happens between now and then.

Now, I realize we know a lot about Taylor Mays, but after the jump I've posted a scouting report on Taylor Mays from our own Mocking the Draft.

Taylor Mays
6'3 1/8, 230 pounds | Safety | Southern California

Agility/Hips: Very tight hips. Does not have the quick twitch that the good cover safeties have in space. Does not seem to do well in short area, too stiff.

Ball Skills: Intercepted three passes his freshman year, but totaled just two in the next three seasons combined. Does not get challenged a lot deep but at the same time, he does not ge this hands on a lot of balls. Has to slow down a significant amount when tracking the ball. Loses balance when looking up.

Body Control: When moving down hill, he remains balanced and powerful which gets the most out of each hit he exerts. Does not maintain that balance when running deep while tracking the ball. The longer he strides, the lesser he controls his body.

Instincts/Recognition: Likes to play it safe, which causes late reaction in the passing game. Diagnoses routes over the middle well and gets himself in position to break up the pass or blow up the receiver. When playing in or near the box, he reads running lanes and gets in to them very quick.

Pass Coverage: Speed allows him to play a true centerfield where he is at his best. A weapon in zone coverage that can be relied upon against the short, intermediate, and deep route trees. Struggles in man coverage, gives a huge cushion because of his lack of ability to change direction. Loses focus on the quarterback and can easily be fooled on a double move.

Pursuit: Takes outstanding angles from the deep safety position. Knows his speed and consistently meets the ball carrier at a spot that results in the least amount of yardage gained. Has the speed to make up for mistakes that he or his teammates make.

Run Support: Plays the run better than most linebackers. Flies in to the box with massive force, strength, and aggression. Can make hits that send running backs to the sideline for good. Is usually good about wrapping up but will occasionally go for the big hit, keeping his arms at bay.

Speed: Has reportedly been timed under 4.4, but his game speed does not match that. While he does really get going when running deep, his acceleration rate is average. Is a long strider that has true sideline-to-sideline range.

Tackling: Is consistently near or at the top of the USC box score when it comes to tackles. Plays well in the box and gets in on a lot of action. When the motivation is there, he can be part of the takedown process on almost every play. Technique is not always sound, simply tries to shoulder a ball carrier in to the ground at times.

Final Word: One look at Taylor Mays in a uniform, it is easy to fall in love with him. He is a man among boys in the college game but the issue is that his performance does not always match his ability. The work ethic is there but the motor runs hot and cold on the field. He is a bit of an underachiever when one considers his tool set. He will need to be in a very specific role at the next level in order to avoid him getting burned in man coverage. At almost 240 pounds, his ability to cover a receiver or an athletic tight end in space will not cut it. But if he can be dropped in and out of the box with simple zone coverage responsibilities, he could thrive.

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 - New Orleans Saints - #64
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 - Seattle Seahawks - #60
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 - New England Patriots - #62
35. Vladimir Ducasse, OG, Massachusetts - New York Jets - #61
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 - Houston Texans - #58
89. Greg Hardy, DE, Mississippi
90. Amari Spievey, CB, Iowa - Detroit Lions - #66
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 - Cleveland Browns - #59
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