USC defensive back Taylor Mays ran a blazing 40-yard dash Tuesday morning at the NFL scouting combine, with an unofficial time of 4.24 seconds.
The official times have generally been a little slower than the announced unofficial times, but if the 4.24 holds up, it would tie the lightning-fast record set by Chris Johnson two years ago.
Whatever his official time, Mays’ straight-line speed is extremely impressive. But NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said he’s not convinced that Mays is as good in a football uniform as he is in his underwear.
“I know he’s a specimen,” Mayock said of Mays. “I know he’s an unbelievable athlete. I know he’s a freak. I get all that. What you’ve got to see on tape is him making a play.”
Mayock said that Mays had just two interceptions, total, in the last three seasons, and he wonders why Mays isn’t getting his hands on the ball more.
“You’ve got two picks in three years,” Mayock said. “You’ve got to get around the football more often.”
NFL Network’s Deion Sanders, however, pointed out that the assembled coaches were sure to be impressed with Mays’ time and his size, and they’ll figure that even if he’s not a great defensive back right now, they can turn him into one.
Said Sanders, “If a man runs a 4.24 here at 231 pounds, all these egos in these bleachers are thinking, ‘I can work with that.'”
UPDATE: The time was “officially” bumped up to 4.43.