Come this time, a year from now, Mel Kiper will be hard pressed to discuss the top prospects in the 2010 NFL draft without mentioning the name Taylor Mays.
The legend of the USC free safety with linebacker size and cornerback speed will only grow after his 2010 combine performance. Mays is listed as 6’3″, 230 lbs and is rumored to have sub 4.4 second 40-yard dash speed. The Seattle native actually ran a 10.5 second 100 meter dash in high school and is seen by many as this generation’s Ronnie Lott.
Most saw Mays as a lock for the top 10 had he come out in ’09. Thus, the hard hitting athletic freak stands to be a possible top 5 selection upon the completion of his senior year.
Truly a unique prospect, one is at a loss when trying to compare Mays to any player currently on an NFL roster. Perhaps the best comparison is former Washington Redskin safety Sean Taylor. Before Taylor’s life was tragically cut short, he was a hard hitting ball hawk with good speed and great athletic talents that just cannot be coached. However, Sean Taylor was an inch shorter and nearly 20 pound lighter.
It is far too early to speculate, but should his legend continue to grow, there is a legitimate chance that Taylor Mays could join Eric Turner as the high drafted defensive back in NFL draft history. Back in 1991, Turner was picked second overall by the Cleveland Browns after completing a stellar career at UCLA. The only way Mays could best his fellow Pac 10 DB would be to go first overall. Is it a reach? As it stands now, perhaps that is too high. One year from now? Anything is possible.