Yesterday, defensive backs were performing at the NFL combine in Indianapolis. Taylor Mays, the safety from USC, was of course among those defensive backs. Out of everyone in the 2010 draft class, Mays is the player that scares me the most. He was nice enough to confirm that yesterday for me. It's not because of his hard-hitting ways or him coming out of a questionable school with multiple alleged infractions. It's because we know the guy is fast and I heard that our owner or general manager or something likes guys that can run really, really fast.
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Looking at the top safeties in the 2010 draft class, Mays is among them; however, if you ask me and a lot of other draft sites, you'll see that Mays is clearly behind Eric Berry of Tennessee and Earl Thomas of Texas. Our Oakland Raiders are picking eighth overall and thankfully don't really sit in ideal position to grab Mays. Unfortunately, that doesn't matter. We weren't sitting at an ideal position last year to draft wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey and Al Davis did the "unkthinkable" and took that man out of Maryland instead of Michael Crabtree.
Getting back to the combine, Taylor Mays reportedly ran a 4.43 yesterday. That time was official, but it likely was inaccurate. According to Mike Mayock of the NFL Network, he spoke with six different representatives and they told him that Mays ran a time that was something between 4.31 and 4.35. Yes, folks, that's pretty damn fast. Some reports had him running it even faster than that, believe it or not. Unofficially, Mays had been clocked at a 4.24 or something in between Jacoby Ford's (the wide receiver prospect from Clemson) time of 4.28 and a 4.34.
I have a friend that is a fan of the San Francisco 49ers and he was telling me about Taylor Mays and the controversy surrounding everybody's 40 time yesterday. Teasing me (since December) about Al Davis possibly drafting Taylor Mays eighth overall, I immediately realized he was right. Plus, there were rumors months ago about this very situation unfolding with Mays on the board and the Raiders on the clock. At that time, though, Mays' stock was high as opposed to right now where is projected to go as late as the early part of the second round in some mock drafts.
The bottom line here is this: Taylor Mays is very fast. Al Davis likes players that are very fast. Be afraid, guys, be very afraid.