It seems every year there is a certain college player in the combine that makes you sit up in your chair & say "WOW!!" Taylor Mays in my opinion is one of those players.
This is a young man who has freakish physical abilities that cannot be taught. Not only is he 6'3" & 230 lbs, but he ran a blazing unofficial 4.24 in the 40 yard dash. Officially a 4.43 which still led all defensive backs in this years combine.
On top of the outstanding 40 yard dash time, he also posted a 41" vertical leap & a 10'5" broad jump. Those type of numbers are just plain ridiculous coming from a safety.
Despite all of the criticism Mays' has been given because of his lackluster senior year, I truly believe with good coaching & hard work this guy could be one of the few steals in this years draft. Also with the inability for Atari Bigby to stay healthy & no clear solid back-ups is another reason I think Mays is a no-brainer for the Pack.
The majority of mock drafts I've been fortunate enough to read are leaning more to the Packers selecting a tackle in the 1st round. That's where I disagree.
The Packers just re-signed tackles Chad Clifton & Mark Tauscher. Which means Ted Thompson & Mike McCarthy are planning on that combination to be Aaron Rodgers outside protection for the next 2 seasons. To add to that the Packers also have a solid back-up & possible future starter in T.J. Lang.
I'm not saying that the tackle position is not a need for the Packers, because obviously it is. But with Thompson's theory of taking the best player on the board regardless of position & the 23rd overall pick, I honestly don't believe that tackle is going to be that position. For the simple fact that seems to be the need for alot of teams in the upcoming draft.
With that said, that is another reason why I believe the Packers should select Mays if he's available. With a secondary that clearly needs help after the weakness it showed in the NFC Wild Card game against Arizona.
Mays is a punishing safety who loves to lower his shoulder & deliver a remembering "don't come across the middle" type of hit. And would be an excellent option to have in the box for Capers' 3-4 scheme. To add to his tackling ablilites, Mays also has good hands.
I see alot more upside to Mays than downside. In my opinion I see alot of comparisons to the late great Sean Taylor when he was coming out of the U. It would also put Mays with ex-USC teammate Clay Matthews, who knows Mays very well. Not only as a player but as a teammate & a person. Which bodes well for the team.
Mays could make an immediate impact for the Packers & the 2nd ranked defense for years to come. That is a scary thought, especially for NFC North offenses.
Thanks for reading.