Switching Taylor Mays to Outside Linebacker
The two most negative reports during the Senior Bowl were Tim Tebow’s mechanics and Taylor Mays’ inability to cover. The Florida quarterback spent the following days working on his release in preparation for the NFL combine. But if you’re Taylor Mays, what do you work on? His struggle is the lack of fluidity in motion, which isn’t uncommon for a person his size. There really isn’t an overnight fix, if there is one at all. One of the better options for those having interests in his athleticism may be to rate him as an outside linebacker and make the most of it. Conversion wouldn’t be difficult, and according to the draft insiders, two NFC East teams have already made the switch.
The Insider, which is a web publication by Bret Sobleski and Sport’s Illustrated’s Tony Pauline, doesn’t mention the two clubs by name, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see more with the same line of thinking. The website also claims USC coaches forewarned NFL scouts that Mays would not be a great cover guy, before the opening of Senior Bowl week. In my current mock draft, I have Mays going to Houston, mostly through failure to find an appropriate setting for a prospect teetering between two positions.
Mays has a different take, still confident that he can play the safety position, and stating that he only did at USC what coaches asked him to do, which was to go for the knockout punch.
“ that is what I was coached to do. At USC, I was coached to deliver knockout shots. I have the potential athletically and mentally to catch the ball and go after the ball. In one week (at the Senior Bowl) I was able to go from only hitting receivers to going after the ball. I just want a chance to work with coach who can help me do that.”
The Safety/Linebacker is in Indianapolis this week, where he will attempt to impress future employers with physical performance and interviews. There are some believing Mays can actually push himself back into the top-10 if he runs a sub 4.4 on the track. Mays was reportedly clocked at 4.25 during an offseason workout at USC.