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Taylor Mays puts on a show in Indianapolis

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.

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44 Responses to “Taylor Mays puts on a show in Indianapolis”
  1. Raider B says: Mar 2, 2010 12:23 PM

    If the Raiders take em, peeps will talk smak, if anyone else takes him, he’ll be considered a steal.
    All the haters can Suck it!

  2. superbowl says: Mar 2, 2010 12:23 PM

    Cue the Redskin fans that will talk about how Snyder will spend all and trade all for this phenom!
    Keep drinking from the koolaid machine and keep giving the green to Snyder

  3. Bill In DC says: Mar 2, 2010 12:27 PM

    He looks to be the next ‘looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane” player with ridiculous combine numbers and mediocre playing history.
    He’ll turn out to be a bigger, faster Roy Williams (the Safety) who can hit like a ton of bricks, but couldn’t cover my Grandmother.
    I sure hope Dallas does not draft this kid

  4. Koheba says: Mar 2, 2010 12:28 PM

    With the 18th Pick in the NFL draft the Pittsburgh Steelers pick – Mike Florio, DB, PFT.com

  5. billybengal says: Mar 2, 2010 12:29 PM

    Mike Mayock is the person I respect the least as far as NFL gurus go. So the guy didn’t get x amount of picks and that makes him unworthy of being a top 3 safety. Yeah I would hate to see him play SS/LB in the league Mike. Brian Dawkins averages right around 2 picks per season, I guess that means he cant play either….

  6. ryans46d says: Mar 2, 2010 12:29 PM

    But according to your “Lord and Master” and Marvin Lewis the whole combine is meaningless and “asinine”. So why report on it?

  7. BroncoBourque says: Mar 2, 2010 12:30 PM

    That is some ridiculous speed and I think that solidifies him as a top 15 pick. Even if coaches don’t see what they want on his tape or don’t even think he can make it as a DB he is likely to go in the top 15. A 6’3, 231 lb LB project would be quite the intriging project. 231 lbs is just as big or close to as big as a lot of weak side LBs in the league right now.

  8. birdmancometh says: Mar 2, 2010 12:32 PM

    I sure as hell would think that. I want Taylor Mays. if he can’t cover well enough to play safety you always have the linebacker fall back.

  9. FalconDevil says: Mar 2, 2010 12:35 PM

    Holy crap I hope the Falcons draft him and put him at OLB

  10. aec4 says: Mar 2, 2010 12:38 PM

    Deion “Mr 4.19″ has spoken has spoken!

  11. Big Stretch says: Mar 2, 2010 12:39 PM

    I’ve watched the Combine all week and have yet to see someone in their Underwear, am I missing something?

  12. Marv_Sleezy says: Mar 2, 2010 12:39 PM

    Why do they run in underwear?
    Dont they have workout cloths like shorts and t-shirts?
    Most of the footage ive seen guys are clothed in at least shorts, with underwear underneath.

  13. BearsMeng says: Mar 2, 2010 12:40 PM

    Is there anyway he could fall to the Bears in the 3rd round. I mean it is our first pick!

  14. jj jones says: Mar 2, 2010 12:41 PM

    He isn’t that good. I hope the 40 time fools a top 9 team to take him and help a good football player slide down. I feel sorry for the sucker (Al Davis) that takes this guy. He is a faster Darnell Bing.

  15. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says: Mar 2, 2010 12:41 PM

    I don’t remember anyone doubting his crazy/stupid athletic skills, just his ability as a football player. So, the combine showing changes what, exactly?

  16. rydendonkeys says: Mar 2, 2010 12:45 PM

    This is they guy I have wanted us to take for 2 years…

  17. Reasonable says: Mar 2, 2010 12:48 PM

    I’ve been harping on Mays for two years now. (not that my opinnion matters though.) He is a freak and guys like this only come around every 5 to 10 years. Total stud. Best prospect since Adrean Peterson.

  18. BBrophy1 says: Mar 2, 2010 12:48 PM

    he needs to go to a Cover-2 team to be successful

  19. Bech72 says: Mar 2, 2010 12:51 PM

    @ Bill In DC:
    He’ll turn out to be a bigger, faster Roy Williams (the Safety) who can hit like a ton of bricks, but couldn’t cover my Grandmother.
    ——————————————————
    A bigger faster version of a 5x Pro Bowler; who the hell wouldn’t want that?
    He might not be a top tier guy when it comes to coverage, but as a run stopper he is elite. USC doesn’t just hand out starting jobs and Mays was a 4 YEAR STARTER. He’s a 1st round talent and he’ll be a great player.

  20. richardb says: Mar 2, 2010 12:51 PM

    Marvin Lewis didn’t say the combine was meaningless. He said the special training programs that athletes pay big bucks too are meaningless. He thinks the studs should simply continue working with their college coaches after the season to prepare for the combine.
    Your welcome ryan64d.

  21. C. says: Mar 2, 2010 12:53 PM

    FARCE he was well into the 4.3′s. He’s fast, but he ain’t that damn fast.

  22. SixBurgh6 says: Mar 2, 2010 12:55 PM

    He is going to be a football god in a Tampa-2 system a la John Lynch where he can sit back and wait to run up into the box and lay the wood on players who cross into the middle.
    If they stick him in a system where he has to cover guys constantly, he’s going to fail.
    So it all depends on who is coach is in the NFL, and what system he is placed in.

  23. SirRibbit says: Mar 2, 2010 12:57 PM

    Being 6-3 with 4.24 speed, how can you NOT cover a tight end? Ball skills are a question, but scheme has a lot to do with that (see Darren Sharper go from Minny to NO and triple his INT’s).
    I’d love to see him replace B-Dawk in Philly.

  24. WarrenMoonGOAT says: Mar 2, 2010 12:57 PM

    dude what the hell u keep callin it underwear for, stop being homo about it

  25. geek says: Mar 2, 2010 1:00 PM

    Raider B, I guess I’ll have to suck that lime after I lick the salt and take the shot. After all, with that kind of measurable speed, he won’t need to move far to play for theteam that values speed over football playing ability. So, once Davis bites on yet another bust and then tells us all that he knows more than anyone else because he was having success back when they wore leather helmets, we can all smile and have another round. If he waits until round 2 then gets this guy, then we will all agree he got a steal.

  26. PennVike says: Mar 2, 2010 1:01 PM

    billybengal says:
    March 2, 2010 12:29 PM
    Mike Mayock is the person I respect the least as far as NFL gurus go. So the guy didn’t get x amount of picks and that makes him unworthy of being a top 3 safety. Yeah I would hate to see him play SS/LB in the league Mike. Brian Dawkins averages right around 2 picks per season, I guess that means he cant play either….
    ——————————————
    That was 2 interceptions total in 3 years….not 2 interceptions per year. Try to keep up. Sounds like a pretty legit concern to me.

  27. TheDPR says: Mar 2, 2010 1:03 PM

    There are lots of reasons a good DB may have low INT numbers. Some relate to himself and others relate to the rest of his team.
    If the opposite corner sucked, their opponents probably threw away from Mays.
    If the entire rest of the defense sucked, their opponents probably ran the ball a lot.
    Mays may have shut down his opponents routinely and only needs to be coached up on letting his guy look open while still being covered.
    It’s easy for an analyst to praise or critique a guy but there’s a lot more to a football player than stats and sound bytes.

  28. Otis Taylor 89 says: Mar 2, 2010 1:04 PM

    Best Deion line, when asked if he Twitters, says:
    “Twitter? I’m 42 years old with 5 kids, I don’t have time for the foolishness.”

  29. Treima says: Mar 2, 2010 1:08 PM

    Al Davis just had an orgasm.

  30. 69ers says: Mar 2, 2010 1:11 PM

    The Steelers will snag him at 18

  31. WeaponX says: Mar 2, 2010 1:36 PM

    Hey Taylor, slow down some… we were already impressed in Philly. Now some team is gonna scoop you before the Birds get on the clock. Kinda like when the Pats took Merriweather right before the Eagles picked, and Andy traded down to get stuck with corn on the Kolb. We need a DB with heart unlike Asante stone hands/can’t tackle!

  32. Toss2Moss says: Mar 2, 2010 2:09 PM

    how does a 4.24 offical jump to 4.42 ?

  33. edgy1957 says: Mar 2, 2010 2:18 PM

    What makes me laugh are some of you guys that obviously never saw a game that he played and any comparison to Roy Williams is ridiculous. “Mediocre playing history?” Do you think that he finishes third for the Thorpe if he’s got a mediocre paying history? 2nd Team All-American as a freshman and then 1st Team All-American for his last three years (Not to mention Walter Camp).
    For most of his career, Darrell Green NEVER led his team in interceptions and yet, anyone who watched the games knew it was because they wanted to throw it at the other corner, who didn’t scare them as much. Why isn’t Mayock making a big deal about how Berry’s numbers dropped dramatically this year?

  34. Big Stretch says: Mar 2, 2010 2:26 PM

    nnamdi asomugha has 1 int in 07′ – ’08 – ’09 and i don’t think anyone would say he isn’t a top 3 DB in the NFL.
    When the other team knows you’re a badass they tend to go away from you.
    Mayock is an idiot

  35. this class sucks says: Mar 2, 2010 2:35 PM

    @Raider B
    It really does depend on where he goes. If he goes to pretty much any team out side of Pittsburgh, Baltimore, New York, and maybe San Francisco (although as a 49er fan I’d be pissed because i don’t want him), it will be stupid. Only those teams I mentioned, with solid defenses and coaches will probably be able to make him good. He’ll either be like Troy Polamalu or Michael Lewis (whose Michael Lewis?) exactly.

  36. last starfighter says: Mar 2, 2010 3:08 PM

    I’d think he could make good money on the other side of the ball with that speed. When I saw him two years ago he was an awesome run supporter but last season he always just seemed out of position.

  37. finsbooyah says: Mar 2, 2010 3:12 PM

    Ok, ok. Mays only has 2 interceptions in 3 years and you are defending him… fine.
    But in his 3 years of playing safety he has recorded 0 (yea, that’s right, 0) pass deflections!!
    He had the benefit his whole career of playing next to NFL caliber defensemen and when most of them left in 2009 (Cushing, Matthews, etc) he asked to play closer to the line of scrimmage. Pete Caroll granted his wish, and he had his worst season of his career (went from being a top 10 pick if he came out last year, to not even being the consensus 3rd best safety in the class).
    Ever watch him try to cover center field like most of you are saying he could do if playing in the cover 2 defense? He is terrible when he does. He was constantly out of position, he overran plays, and college QB’s picked on him because he could consistantly be beaten deep.
    Oh yea, not to mention the fact that he is known to take cheap shots, thus forcing the refs to throw an inexcusable number of flags of the 15 yard variety.
    This guy has alot of potential, but WAY too much risk to be taken in the first round. He has BOOM or BUST written all over him.

  38. Ron says: Mar 2, 2010 3:23 PM

    ok …nuthuggers
    4.24 was an unofficial time
    4.43 was the official time

  39. Cornerdenizen says: Mar 2, 2010 4:36 PM

    No question the guy can play. It depends on the scheme. Not everyone plays cover 2, which allows the safety to play deep. In some schemes, and USC is one of them, the strong safety plays closer to the line of scrimmage–sort of like a rover, or more athletic linebacker. Mays will be great. He is similar to Roy Williams and John Lynch. Both guys made more plays in the tackle box than down field.

  40. edgy1957 says: Mar 2, 2010 7:04 PM

    finsbooyah says: March 2, 2010 3:12 PM
    Ok, ok. Mays only has 2 interceptions in 3 years and you are defending him… fine.
    But in his 3 years of playing safety he has recorded 0 (yea, that’s right, 0) pass deflections!!
    *******************************
    Where did you get that info because you might want to change sources (or stop pulling numbers out of thin air): 2006: 3, 2007: 6, 2008: 9, 2009: 3. Now, I may not be able to add so correct me if I’m wrong but it seems to me that 18 > 0.

  41. Big Tex says: Mar 3, 2010 6:59 AM

    @edgy
    I wouldn’t get to worked up about the 3rd place Thorpe finish or the All American awards with the Roy Williams comparison. Willliams was All American as well. Of course, Roy won the Thorpe. Also the Nagurski. Mays has exceptional triangle numbers and questionable coverage skills.

  42. edgy1957 says: Mar 3, 2010 9:52 AM

    Big Tex, none of that proves that EITHER had a mediocre playing history in college. Most scouts had him as the third safety in the draft (He was second for a while on Kiper’s list but he’s now third and that’s before the workouts). He’s a lot better the amateur scouts think.

  43. Big Tex says: Mar 3, 2010 7:49 PM

    @edgy
    He played Safety last year behind 3 LBs who are all starting in the NFL now, right? Do you think having that kind of talent in front of you helps? He’s got a role to play in the league and a chance to be a good player in the right system. He also has some shortcomings which very well may be exposed.

  44. edgy1957 says: Mar 4, 2010 12:06 AM

    # Big Tex says:
    He played Safety last year behind 3 LBs who are all starting in the NFL now, right? Do you think having that kind of talent in front of you helps?
    **********************
    Strange, seems like every expert seems to disagree with you: from the scouts who rated him as 2 or 3 before the Combine to every All-American team voter that put him on the first team. But I guess that Big Tex is right and they’re wrong. After all, every DB that’s ever lived has to live down to the standards of Roy Williams.
    Of course, if having any one decent playing in front of you disqualifies you then USC should disqualify all their LBs because of all the great DL in from of them. BTW, can you name any of the LBs that played in front of Darrell Green?

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