Prospect Profile: Taylor Mays's NFL Draft Analyst Chris Steuber profiles the top prospects eligible for the 2010 NFL Draft. Learn about USC safety Taylor Mays inside.

Taylor Mays
School: USC
Position: Safety
Height: 6-3
Weight: 230
Projected 40-Time: 4.40

Star Rating: Grade: 96
Draft Projection: 1st Round

Star rating is based on a prospects standing (as of March 5th) in the 2010 Draft Rankings. A prospects grade is measured on the following scale:

85-100 = 1st - 2nd Round
_70-84 = 3rd - 4th Round
_55-69 = 5th - 6th Round
_40-54 = 7th Round - UDFA

Mays is a powerhouse in the secondary, but doesn't produce impact numbers.
Jeff Golden/Getty Images

Strengths: Mays is a tenacious, game-changing defender who can be used in multiple ways. He’s a hard-hitting presence in the secondary and immediately recognizes the action. He takes good angles in coverage and works well with his teammates. He moves well laterally and positions himself to deliver a knockout punch. He plays aggressively against the run, sheds blocks nicely and wraps up at the point of attack, bringing the ball carrier down on initial contact. He plays sideline-to-sideline and is able to cover a large area with his outstanding agility and quickness.

Weaknesses: He’s doesn’t generate impact numbers and lacks the ball skills you want out of a playmaker. He plays overly aggressive at times, and instead of making the sure tackle, he opts to deliver a knockout punch. He struggles in coverage and is a liability in one-on-one situations.

Steuber Says: Mays’ decision to stay in school for his senior year may come back to haunt him as a lot of his flaws were discovered this past season. Mays is an intimidating force in the secondary and delivers hard hits, but he doesn’t do much in coverage and has poor ball skills. A move to OLB in a 3-4 defense is possible, and may bring out the best in him. Despite having a disappointing year, Mays should still be drafted in the first round.

A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999. Steuber’s features are published across the network and on If you wish to contact Chris Steuber, email him at: You can also now follow Chris Steuber on Twitter.

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