Taylor Mays brings the wood to the bay
It was a quite a wait for the USC draft eligible. For the first time since 2007, no Southern California players were selected in the first-round of the NFL draft. Of the group, Taylor Mays, Charles Brown, and Everson Griffen were opening round probable. With two days passed and three rounds complete, one of them is still waiting for a new home.
Mays became the first of Pete Carroll’s former players to have his name called, going to the 49ers in the second-round, as the 49th pick overall. San Francisco was rumored to be high on Mays, and proved their interest by lifting him from the board with their third selection. Pete Carroll also made three selections in the draft, passing on Mays twice. Adding insult to injury, Texas safety Earl Thomas became one of Seattle’s first-round selections, which from an emotional standpoint would compare to being cheated on by your mate.
Mays will take his physical style to the bay area, where Ronnie Lott made a name for himself. Playing in the NFC West, he’ll face the Seahawks and Pete Carroll twice each year. Carrying a chip on his shoulder, after being twice passed over by a coach he holds partially responsible for his slide, Mays is geared to bring the wood, while Carroll will likely look to expose weaknesses that allowed him to pass by.
“I felt he told me the complete opposite of the actions that he took, which was definitely alarming,” Mays told Bay Area reporters on a conference call. “Some things that he told me I needed to do as a football player, versus the actions that he took and who he took as a safety. I understand it’s a business, but with it being a business, you just need to be honest and that’s all I was asking for.”
The All American may be angry, but his 49th selection bettered his Trojan comrades. Charles Brown followed Mays in the second-round, chosen by the Saints with pick No. 64. Damian Williams went next, in the third-round to the Tennessee Titans. Kevin Thomas completed the USC selections on Friday night, plucked by the Colts at No. 94. Thomas’ selection is a reflection of an impressive final audition, which was USC’s Pro-Day.
Another impressive Pro-Day performer was Everson Griffen, yet the defensive end has yet to be picked. Griffen went from a first-round projection to spending his weekend still seeking employment. Maturity is one of many speculations for his fall. With all the talent in the world, Griffen often failed to bring it on every down. It’s the same reason he became trapped in the revolving door of Carroll’s doghouse during his time at USC. It was also mentioned by several sources that he interviewed poorly.
Griffen’s slide should end on Saturday, and New England may be the franchise to catch him. The Patriots gave Griffen a call in the third-round, while they were sitting on the clock. They eventually traded out of the spot and his descent continued. Tumbling with him is Anthony Mccoy, who was earlier projected to go in rounds two or three. Testing positive for marijuana didn’t help his cause, but likely assisted others at his position to leap-frog ahead.
A Bruin (Brian Price) was selected before any Trojans in this draft, and Cal had two players (Tyson Alualu, Jahvid Best) chosen in the first-round. Also, Taylor Mays was rated as the third best safety prospect on most draft boards, but Oregon’s T.J. Ward was chosen before him. Concluding the nemesis watch, Stanford’s Toby Gerhart was selected by the Minnesota Vikings, and Jimmy Clausen fell to the middle of the second-round before being rescued by Carolina. The other Irish Star, Golden Tate, was selected with the 60th overall pick, by Pete Carroll.