NFL Combine 2010 Results: Taylor Mays and Eric Berry Leave Joe Haden in the Dust

Brian DiTullioSenior Writer IMarch 2, 2010

LOS ANGELES - OCTOBER 4:  Taylor Mays of the USC Trojans is interviewed on the field after the game against the Oregon Ducks on October 4, 2008 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.  USC won 44-10.  (Photo by Jeff Golden/Getty Images)
Jeff Golden/Getty Images

Get ready to rewrite that mock draft you were working on because Taylor Mays and Eric Berry just made their case to be taken in the top five.

Going into the Combine, Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy were considered the only two defensive talents to go in the top five with Berry as a possible third.

Now that Mays has run a 4.43 40-yard dash, with one scout saying he ran a 4.24, Mays may have cemented his place in the top three.

Mays, standing 6’3” and weighing 230 lbs., now is putting himself into that “Freak of Nature” category with his speed. A guy that big usually just isn’t that fast, but the stopwatches don’t lie.

Berry, meanwhile, only was a fraction of a second slower than Mays, clocking in at 4.47 seconds in the 40.

Then there was the mysterious case of Joe Haden, who ran a slow, by comparison, 4.57 in the 40.

That one-tenth of a second can make all the difference when you’re chasing speedy wide receivers down the field, so Haden may have run himself out of the top 10.

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These 40 times are earth-shattering to draft stock because of the depth in defensive talent in the draft this year.

Between Suh, McCoy, Berry, and Mays, you have four potential Hall of Famers and no shortage of teams who need them in the top 10.

Mock drafts should start to change radically here in the next week because Mays just went from a low first round, early second round pick to possibly going in the top five.

The question remains, what will the St. Louis Rams do with their pick?

If the Rams decide they need a quarterback more than anything else, you potentially could have Suh and McCoy going second and third with Kansas City and Washington still deciding to go offense or defense.

With Mays running a 4.43, do both those teams pass him up? It’s possible the Chiefs may decide that Russell Okung is lower than Mays on their draft board, or the Redskins may decide to wait until the second round to draft offense.

Even more interesting, with Haden running slower than either Berry or Mays, is he still attractive to the Browns with the seventh pick?

The front offices will be busy over the next few weeks reviewing the Combine results and comparing that with tapes of the past college football season.

For example, is Haden really that slow, or did he just have a bad start? Maybe Haden runs a 4.3 for some teams on his Pro Day.

The Combine is wrapping up, but the analysis is just beginning. The mock drafts will be interesting to see in the next few weeks.


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