Taylor Mays: Was His 40 Time Enough to Solidify a First-Round Selection?

Daniel WolfSenior Writer IMarch 2, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 24:  Taylor Mays #2 of the USC Trojans eyes the play against the Oregon State Beavers on October 24, 2009 at the Los Angeles Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.  USC won 42-36.  (Photo by Jeff Golden/Getty Images)
Jeff Golden/Getty Images

USC safety Taylor Mays has just shocked the NFL world after running a sizzling unofficial 40-yard dash time of 4.24, tying the record Titans' running back Chris Johnson made two years ago.

(UPDATE: 3-2-10 @ 1:00 PM EST: Mays' official 40 time was 4.43 and the following article was written before the official time was announced.)

Mays comes into the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine needing to prove more than almost any other player in this draft class.

Staying with USC for his senior year, Mays would have been a top 10 pick had he come out early in 2009.

Many have questioned some of his abilities and his tendency to make the big hit rather than going for an interception, but based on his performance in Indy, Mays may have just vaulted himself back into the top 10 or perhaps the top 15 of this April's NFL Draft.

Mays is linebacker-esque in physique and stands at a 6'3" and 230 lbs, and he is very strong, benching 225 lbs 24 times.

His vertical leap is an impressive 41 inches and he has one of the largest set of hands measured out of all defensive backs with 10.25 inches.

Mays was said to run a 40 around the 4.3 time, but his 4.24 is absolutely unbelievable.

Before he ran, Mays told Deion Sanders, "I've got something for you in the 40."

The NFL Network announcers were all shocked that Mays just ran a 4.24, and they also said, "Mays could probably run a 4.1."

Official times are usually around the same, but the fact that Mays has ran it even that fast means that he will jump up on the boards.


(Daniel Wolf is exclusively covering the NFL Scouting Combine for Bleacher Report.)