USC safety Taylor Mays has already drawn a number of comments as we have been discussing potential New York Giants draft picks.
So, it's time we focus directly on Mays in our continuing series of NFL Draft prospect profiles.
Mays is a 6-foot-3, 230-pounder who would have likely been a top 10 pick had he come out a year ago. His stock has plummeted, though, and many wonder if Mays has the ability to play coverage at the NFL level. The Roy Williams comparisons are out there, and they have to make you cringe after what you saw from the Giants safeties in 2009.
Let's take a closer look at what the experts say about Mays.
Taylor Mays Scouting Reports
Walter Football gives a report on Mays that should have Giants fans screaming, and hoping that GM Jerry Reese finds a different way to try and upgrade the safety position.
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.
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.
Draft Countdown also gives a report on Mays that should make Giants fans leery.
Fantastic size with a chiseled physique --- Terrific athlete --- Excellent timed speed --- Quick and agile --- Explosive with a burst --- Smooth with fluid hips --- Great leaping ability --- Superb range --- Extremely aggressive --- Very strong --- Tough --- Violent hitter --- Does a superb job in run support. ...
Questionable instincts and awareness --- Poor ball skills --- Average hands --- Not a reliable tackler --- Takes some bad angles --- Doesn't always play as fast as he times --- Will have trouble matching up with wideouts in man coverage. ...
More of an intimidator than a playmaker in the secondary --- Has the talent to be a dynamic all-around player at the next level --- Epitomizes the phrase "Runs Like a Cornerback, Hits Like a Linebacker" --- Workout Warrior and amazing physical specimen with a truly rare blend of size, speed and athleticism.
CBS Sports had this to say.
Mays has the natural ability to rate as one of the real stars of the pre-draft workout circuit. With four years of film for scouts to grade, his over-aggressiveness as a senior won't prove catastrophic to his final grade. His performance in 2009 might have knocked him out of the top 10, but his intimidating blend of size, speed and explosive hitting make him a first-round lock and immediate impact rookie.
Why Mays fits with the Giants
C.C. Brown, Aaron Rouse, Michael Johnson and the questionable health of Kenny Phillips. The Giants need to do better than Brown, Rouse and Johnson at the safety position, and they need to protect themselves in the event Phillips does not recover from his knee injury. If Mays is sitting there in the second round he might be tempting for Reese.
Why Mays doesn't fit with the Giants
Brown, Rouse and Johnson. None of those guys can cover, which is why the Giants needs help at safety. Mays, unfortunately, can't cover either. Sounds to me like Mays is pretty much a carbon copy of Brown or Rouse, and the Giants don't need another hard-hitting safety who is helpless in pass coverage.
(E-mail Ed at email@example.com)