Former USC head coach Pete Carroll used to tell everyone who would listen that Taylor Mays was going to stun people with just how athletic he'd prove to be in workouts. With all of the talk about how Mays struggled in 2009 and the ridicule he took at the Senior Bowl, his stock has been sliding.
However, after posting one of the more impressive Combine performances in recent memory -- an unofficial 4.24 second 40-yard dash and 41" vertical -- Mays is certainly proving to be every bit the athlete he's been hyped.
Mays' preliminary time in the 40-yard dash would tie Tennessee running back Chris Johnson's time in 2008 as the fastest since the NFL began tracking "official" results in 2000. Again, however, the preliminary times being provided by The NFL Network have consistently been faster than the times provided later as official on NFL.com. (Mays' time was later changed to 4.43)
Mays' speed was the fastest recorded by any safety at the 2010 Combine.
As impressive as Mays' athleticism is in workouts, it is important to remember the game film. Just as I mentioned with the recent blog regarding Florida cornerback Joe Haden's surprisingly slow 40-yard dash time, good tape beats good workouts every time.