Taylor Mays or Anthony Davis: Who Should the Packers Take on Draft Day?

Ryan CookFeatured ColumnistMarch 26, 2010

It's almost odd thinking back to this time last year and realising that all Packer fans were looking at their potential team as "could be's" rather than "should be's," but boy, how things have changed.

From 6-10 in 2008, to 11-5 in 2009, analysts and so-called experts have put forward the simple yet promising statement that the Green Bay Packers of today are possibly a mere draft pick away from Super Bowl success.

With needs listing as long as Barack Obama's health care plans, it is vital that Ted Thompson gets this NFL Draft right, and more importantly selects the right pick to better help the Green Bay Packers in the ever-so-tough NFC North division. 

Last year, we saw the arrival of BJ Raji to the Packers depth chart, and it's safe to say that the former Boston College defensive lineman has helped solidify the newly formed 3-4 defense just enough to give Green Bay a new title of a feared defensive powerhouse, rather than one that could just make plays happen.

But that's in the past, what about 2010?  It's a new decade, a new era and one that could quite possibly feature the colors of green and yellow. 

With April just around the bend, many people will switch off from the football world to celebrate Easter with their families. 

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

Sure that's a reasonable excuse to ignore the Draft for a weekend or two, but true NFL fans, and more importantly true Packer fans, would recognize the significance that the 2010 NFL Draft possesses.

With free safety Taylor Mays and offensive tackle Anthony Davis currently leading the speculation votes for potential Packer draft picks, here are both the pros and cons of each player, followed by a short conclusion of who Green Bay would be wise to select should the opportunity arise.

Taylor Mays

Pros:

In case you missed out on watching Taylor Mays' work out at the NFL Combine, you were unfortunate enough to miss quite an impressive show.  With a body that would send even the tamest of women wild, Taylor Mays looked fit, strong, and ready to do anything any team would urge him to do.

After posting a 4.43 in the 40 Yard Dash, Taylor Mays is the type of safety who could fit in well with just about any NFL team.  As for the Packers though, it would be hard to give Nick Collins or Atari Bigby the old heave-ho, but when I look at Taylor Mays both on film and on paper, all I have to say is "wow."

Funnily enough though, Mays has managed to go under the radar in the Draft speculation.  Maybe it's due to the presence of so many promising young quarterbacks and offensive lineman, or it could be due to the fact that the safety position just isn't in such high demand for many teams at the moment.  Whichever factor it may be, it plays into the hands of the Green Bay Packers.

As for what Mays is good at though, well it's tough to narrow down.  When people think of Mays, they automatically think of hard hits.

Known for his ability to hit hard on receivers after the catch, Taylor Mays is amongst a dying breed of physical defensive players.

Cons:

The one criticism for Taylor Mays is that he lacks the ability to cover wide receivers.  It is one thing to hit hard, but it is another to protect the big play from happening.  After looking over opinions of Taylor Mays, the word "bust" comes up quite frequently. 

Although Taylor is one of USC's standouts, he also failed to fill out the stat sheet totally in his time with the Trojans.

Unsatisfied with his 40-yard dash time, Taylor Mays may find himself in a little more strife when the real world of the NFL sets in.  For now though, his poor coverage ability and sometimes lack of discipline will pose as a strike for teams that consider him.

For The Green Bay Packers:

When I look at Taylor Mays I am impressed, but concerned at the same time.  Obvious talent and a passion for the game, but also a rather unconvincing side that could use some much needed coaching to take care of.

In the past, Green Bay have been careful about who they draft., as the Packers are normally a team that stays well out of media attention. Taylor Mays' performance could ultimately put Green Bay in the firing line or in the praise line. 

Whichever one it happens to be, Mays is a gamble, but one that could just pay off.

Anthony Davis

Pros:

For Anthony Davis, the NFL Draft is basically his playground.  With many teams needing offensive linemen, he will be like a plumber in a neighbourhood full of blocked toilets.  Definitely not short of work.

When it comes to what he's good at, though, Anthony Davis is just your typical offensive lineman, except he blocks, covers and opens up holes very well. 

I wouldn't blame you if you hadn't seen much of him play with Rutgers, however, judging by his combine stats alone, Anthony Davis is a rose amongst the thorns in this year's Draft.

Besides the basics, Davis is great at picking up the blitz and often more or less eats up defensive ends. 

As I mentioned above, run blocking is also a big factor for Anthony Davis as he has spent time with Ray Rice in Rutgers, and we all know just how successful that duo turned out. 

Strength is also a key observation to make when watching Davis' tape, and he often out muscles even the fittest of defensive lineman, something that will make him fit in very well with any NFL team.

Cons:

Although the list of cons are short for Davis, it is the little things that he can often forget about addressing when on the field. 

Small and seemingly insignificant things such as leg twists and a little over excessive blocking is noticed, and as much as his physical play is a strength to him, it could also act as a weakness in a penalty happy league such as the NFL.

Other notables such as his lack of foot movement, and lack of knee bend ability on the line arise, and although those are minor issues it still may hold Davis back from achieving what he deserves come April.

For The Green Bay Packers:

For the Packers, Davis brings potential, opportunity and some talent to the position.  Nearly immovable once forced off the line, Davis would provide that much needed protection for Aaron Rodgers, who is all to familiar with the taste of Lambeau Field turf.

If there's one thing that we notice about the Packers of new, it is youth.  Although criticised at times, it has worked wonder for Mike McCarthy, and the addition of Anthony Davis could be a move that prevents that last minute hit to fumble in the NFC Wildcard Game.

Conclusion:

So who should Green Bay consider out of these two prospects?  Well to tell you the truth, the decision isn't easy.  It's like choosing between that expensive and great looking toy (Taylor Mays) and that old reliable one that just gets the job done (Anthony Davis). 

However, the Packers needs must be kept in mind; therefore, Anthony Davis is just the more sensible pick. 

Yes, the Oakland Raiders are in the hunt for him, but if Green Bay play their cards right, Davis may just land in their lap like a snowflake.

Talented, young and ready to play, Davis is more than ready to protect beloved No. 12.  Let's just hope that Ted Thompson thinks so.