The freakishly proportioned run stuffing Trojan or the playmaker from Texas who is often compared to Ed Reed?
Taylor Mays is 6-3 235, pure muscle and can run around a 4.45. Mays is a hybrid Safety who, if asked, could probably play outside linebacker. As a senior Taylor had 88 tackles and one interception, his best year was probably in 2006 when he recorded three INT’s and had 62 tackles. Still, Mays is considered overrated by most and will probably be considered a reach by many when taken in the late teens Thursday night. I will be interested to see how Mays reacts to NFL coaches and if he can become more of a playmaker.
Earl Thomas is much smaller than Mays at only 5-10 and around 200, but he has a knack for being around the ball. Most people consider Thomas’ play making ability to be comparable to Ed Reed and deservingly so, but he is also same in stature and speed. But enough comparisons to the future HOF let’s get down to what he does on the field. Thomas returned two of his eight interceptions for touchdowns his senior year while adding 63 tackles and one FF. In all Thomas forced five fumbles while at Texas , four more than Mays and in two less years.
With all of this taken into consideration, Thomas is younger and has much more upside. Unfortunately for you USC fans Mays is what he is I think and will not turn into anything more. Mays will be a better than expected NFL player, but Thomas just has too many skills to warrant taking Mays ahead of him. The only way this could happen is if the Raiders (eighth overall pick) use absolutely no knowledge and go on gut instinct, which they probably will so it is still 50/50.
Edge: Earl Thomas