Taylor Mays

Discussion in 'NFL Draft' started by 24, Mar 3, 2010.

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  1. Deuce Wayne

    Deuce Wayne Damnit, I cant find my driving moccasins anywhere!

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    Because neither have the cover skills. Pretty simple. They're ball playing safeties, not great coverage DBs. Neither will shut down a receiver. Neither are fast enough nor have the footwork needed. Both are grossly overrated.
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  2. Gut

    Gut Starter

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    Um...

    I would agree that Mays can't play CB and he might have a lot of trouble with athletic TE's who run twisting routes because he has stiff hips. He'll be able to cover any TE running in a straight line though.

    I would vehemently disagree with your assessment on Berry. He's played CB before, has a good backpedal, quick hips, awesome speed for a safety (good speed for a CB), great instincts, balls skills, GREAT hitting skills for his size, and very good at reading patterns. I think there is a GOOD chance he could play CB in the NFL. The only question is...can he play CB as WELL as he could play S. I think he's a better S but this gives you GREAT flexibility in moving him around or have him do anything you want. Mays has to be protected. Berry can do it all.

    Outside of the fact that Berry didn't play CB fulltime, what makes you think he can't play CB in the NFL. His ability matching up with slot WR's, athleticism, and instincts are exactly what you hope to find in a CB prospect.

    Gut
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  3. luvyablue23

    luvyablue23 Camp Fodder

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    spot on Gut
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  4. Deuce Wayne

    Deuce Wayne Damnit, I cant find my driving moccasins anywhere!

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    I don't see it. Berry's a ball-hawk, he's never even really been that great in coverage as a safety. He's one of those guys that built his name on big hits, and playing the ball.

    He's always been suspect in coverage to me. He's a playmaker though, which is infatuating. I just can't see him lining up and being competitive with a quick wideout without just using strength and muscling them.

    There's a reason only a few think he can play corner in the NFL. It's not a popular belief.

    To me, he's Laron Landry v 2.0. Which isn't a bad thing- just not a great thing.
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  5. Gut

    Gut Starter

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    Well...

    Keep in mind, as a Freshmen, Berry had 5 picks...which is more than Mays or Landry had in ANY season of their college careers. Berry bettered that with 7 picks the next year. This past season he only had a couple because he was asked to do a lot more different things. In fact, whenever Kiffin wanted to take something away...he put Berry there to stop it. The reason few people want to consider Berry at CB is because they think he'll be better utilized as a multi-dimensional S. If he's on one side of the field as a CB, you can run to the otherside or run him away from the play. As a S, the Def Cord can dictate to the offense by putting Berry in places or on people to take them away.

    Mays is more like Landry 2.0....actually Mays is more like Landry-lite. They are similar players and how Landry was used in college is more the way Mays will be best utilized in the NFL. Let him blitz, put him in the box to attack, put him in deep centerfield so he can move forward and knock someone out, and if he has to cover someone one v one have him play pure bump and run coverage so he can hold them up while he turns his hips and then he can run with anyone in a straight line.

    Gut
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  6. luvyablue23

    luvyablue23 Camp Fodder

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    Very well said again Gut, especially regarding Mays. That's exactly how I see him being used at least at this point. My question is from watching tape on him, how well/easily do you see him moving to OLB? What adjustments does he have to make? He can roam sideline to sideline, his coverage skills are probably superior to average linebacker, and he can thump. Didn't Urlacher make the switch?
    If he can't switch to OLB, what adjustments does he have to make to fit within our defensive philosophy. Is it something coachable ; I know the gripe on him is that he can't cover and he doesn't make plays on the ball. Honestly from what i've seen though I think his biggest fault is that he doesn't wrap up and goes for kill shots. Those are just fundamentals that I think can be coached up in no time. Basically part two of my question is "Ignoring need, Why doesn't/does he fit for us based on his overall game and what are the similarites/disimilarities between his game and say someone like polamalu?"
    Thanks
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  7. Gut

    Gut Starter

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    A few issues...

    He has no footwork to play LB first of all, he doesn't make the same reads (in run plays and pass plays) in diagnosing the play, doesn't take on blockers and so he doesn't know how to use his hands well for this purpose. He also doesn't know the angles and run responsibilities of playing LB as it's different from a S. His attitude could also be an issue. He claims he was coached to knock receivers out as opposed to going for the ball (I don't know any coach who would say that) and he does this in the run game as well as passes. While it's great to make a huge hit and knock a guy out, too many times you're gonna allow the better rb's to escape. He did in Senior Bowl practices/game and all year. Most college guys don't bounce off his full shot but backs in the NFL can be very elusive. He also takes bad angles to the ball in run plays as well as short passes. He gave up a TD to a slot WR because the slot ran down the seam for 5yds and Mays took off wide to meet him where he thought he'd be at 15 yds. The WR caught the ball and immediately slanted down the middle. Because Mays took a flat and wide angle, he was completely out of the play. As a LB, if you take the wrong angle, you give up chunks of yardage. Mays would have to play Bullucks role in our D if he was moved to OLB. Bulluck is the hit man. He's supposed to be our leading tackler so Mays would have to be like him. Problem is, as OLB, you can't leave your outside contain and get burned backside on misdirection. Since Mays is so aggressive and already takes bad angles...I don't like that combo in our current D philosophy. Could we make some adjustments? Yes, but you're asking Mays to learn a LOT of new techniques, reads, hands usage and while Dallas Clark can't beat him in a footrace, I think Clark can shake him loose...which is the problem. Mays at OLB would be a much better fit for a 3-4 team even though he doesn't have the bulk of a typical 3-4 OLB...but his game is more suited to it where in he can just attack. Kill the QB and if you happen to run into a RB with the ball, light him up too. They also don't play a lot of man coverage so he can drop into a zone and look to obliterate someone. Again, he lacks bulk for that system though.

    He COULD make the switch but he's a much bigger long shot to come out the other end as a Pro Bowl caliber OLB...especially in our system.

    He'll need to learn to play the ball, try to develop his instincts, take good routes in coverage and against the run, learn to go for the kill shot when someone has the ballcarrier wrapped already but he's not down yet, tackle better, work on loosening his hips. My BIGGEST issues are that he's a lot like Hope with much better speed, lot less instincts and diagnosing ability and a lot more size but perhaps stiffer hips. And the reason this is a problem is that Hope was taking a lot of bad angles in coverage (he blew the bomb in the playoff game vs the Ravens) and even after a WR caught the ball (when the Colts scored on that post right before the half in our first game this year, Hope should have easily made the tackle...instead, he took the wrong angle and took Bulluck out of the pursuit - BAD). These kinds of things should have been fixed LAST YEAR but I see them being repeated over and over. Our S play was NOT adjusted coaching -wise to the sudden lack of pass rush so we gave up a gazillion yards and points and simply through our S's under the bus. For all of our NFL S's coaching our D and secondary...that was a shocking and disturbing thing to see and a prime reason I want no part of Mays for the Titans. The one GOOD thing about say Mays replacing Hope is his speed. When we blitz or go man, we frequently go single S down the middle with Griff (because he does have loose hips) covering a slot WR or TE. Hope doesn't have the speed/range to help too much from there. Mays would, but he'd still have a lot of work to do...and I'd be very concerned. And don't forget the USC connection with Fisher making Mays a possibility.

    Polamalu is much smaller, quicker, changes directions much faster and has an amazing 10 yard burst. The BIGGEST difference between Polamalu and Mays....really the biggest difference between Polamalu/Ed Reed and everyone else are their tremendous instincts. They anticipate so well they are well on their way to where they need to be before anyone else has even figured it out. When we played the Steelers game one last year, Polamalu was 15 yds deep when we threw a flare out to CJ who nearly got his legs taken out Polamalu was there so fast. He anticpated the throw and as soon as Kerry opened his hips Polamalu broke which HOW he got there so fast.

    As one LB coach once told me...a 4.8 guy going in the right direction will beat a 4.5 guy who's unsure or going the wrong way. Some of that can be 'corrected' but some guys have a great KNACK for the ball...which is really instincts, coaching, and desire.

    Hope that covers it...if not ask whatever you like.

    Gut
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  8. Jazzy Titan

    Jazzy Titan yum yum eat em up

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    IF mays didnt have these issues he would be drafted much higher and we wouldnt even have to worry about taking him. CJ was undersized and thought of more as a scatback, and I would say we made that work out. Mays does have some question marks but he also has the potential to be a homerun for us. Having an intimidating safety roaming around for the next 10 years doesnt seem like a bad thing to me. I wont mind in the least if we take him at 16. Although with Hope and Griff in place seems unlikely.
    #48
  9. luvyablue23

    luvyablue23 Camp Fodder

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    Very well written and thought out. Thanks!
    Regarding his conversion to OLB; my concerns were his ability to shed blocks at that level , properly using hands to maintain leverage, and then wrapping up and finishing the tackle. As you stated full blows were enough in college but in the NFL, he's going to have to wrap up. I wasn't overly concerned about footwork and reaction because of his blinding speed. Also I don't know enough about the footwork involved for a LB.
    Using him at S, I always thought that his speed would trump. I know that you have to have good instincts, but if you didn't have the instincts in the first place, how are you starting at USC for all those years?
    I don't watch enough USC games to intelligently comment but these clips show me that he has the ability to read, diagnose, and make the right angles. Granted its a field goal formation but still; it shows the ability??

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    Now the bad and I mean bad
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    First play he is just late getting over and doesn't even try to make a play for the ball but looks for the kill. Problem is he doesn't separate the ball from the receiver either.
    Second play clearly shows he needs to improve his fundamentals in tackling. Thats horrible. ( Coincidentally this video also shows why Im high on Tate. I know the comparisons are cliche, but he reminds me of Steve Smith of the Panthers. Pound for Pound, stronger, tougher, faster. He's actually the type of WR we need for a well rounded receiving corps. I just wish he was a bit taller.)

    I agree that he might be somewhat of a project, but I think he'd be a quick study and be on the field at the start of the season. What I'm really hoping is for the USC fan who has probably seen every game in May's career offer some counter points. Or some more clips of Mays where his weaknesses are exposed and explained.
    Had he come out last year, he would have been a top 10 guaranteed. I'm just wondering perhaps if that extra year is subjecting his game to increased scrutiny, especially after USC's precipitous fall from prominence after last years draft.

    Thanks again for your time.
    #49
  10. Carp

    Carp Starter

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    What stats? No one, and I mean literally no one threw the ball towards Eric Berry in 2009. He's regarded as the best player after Suh by many outlets.


    And Berry has came up like 25 yards short, or something like that, of setting the NCAA career Int return yardage record..... as a Junior.


    You are a complete idiot if you think Mays is anywhere near the level of Berry. Berry is considered the best S to come out of college since the late-great Sean Taylor.


    Why are you still on this site? Haven't you been banned yet?
    #50
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