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View Full Version : Taylor Mays as an OLB prospect?



Valandui
12-09-2009, 12:43 AM
This is just a crazy thought on my part, but what would you draft expert guys think about moving Taylor Mays to OLB in a 3-4? He's already 6'3" and 230 lbs. Having already played safety, he would be better than most DE-OLB conversion prospects in coverage. He is fast and a feared hitter. He has also expressed interest in playing closer to the ball. If he could bulk up about 10-15 lbs, I think he could be a pretty crazy OLB. Any thoughts?

JCane
12-09-2009, 12:46 AM
Absolutely. Taylor Mays has less of a future in the NFL as a safety than Tim Tebow has as an NFL QB. Taylor Mays is not a great college safety. This isn't a crazy thought at all. And I think Mays would make a damn good linebacker in the NFL. He's so strong and physical it's ridiculous. He just doesn't have the ball instincts to play safety in the NFL. You see it every week at USC. He makes big hits, can bench press a Toyota, and looks good in a uniform but he doesn't prevent plays big plays the way Eric Berry does.

Valandui
12-09-2009, 12:57 AM
Absolutely. Taylor Mays has less of a future in the NFL as a safety than Tim Tebow has as an NFL QB. Taylor Mays is not a great college safety. This isn't a crazy thought at all. And I think Mays would make a damn good linebacker in the NFL. He's so strong and physical it's ridiculous. He just doesn't have the ball instincts to play safety in the NFL. You see it every week at USC. He makes big hits, can bench press a Toyota, and looks good in a uniform but he doesn't prevent plays big plays the way Eric Berry does.
Even if he sucked in coverage as a safety, he would still be better than your typical DE converting to OLB. He is a little small, but we saw how quick Wake bulked up when he got here.

TedSlimmJr
12-09-2009, 12:58 AM
When he says he wants to play closer to the ball....I'm sure he means actually just being inside the screen when the ball is snapped...

His tackling technique needs tremendous work just be an effective tackler at safety......much less at linebacker...

I could see him being tried as a weakside backer in a Cover-2....but certainly not in a 3-4...

I think playing closer to the LOS would help mask some of his most glaring weaknesses.....which is breaking down and tackling in open space....but it would also magnify others...

Mays is a "clean up" guy IMO.....I'm not sure his best skillset is being confined to a specific responsibility....particularly one where football instincts and correct angles are key...

Valandui
12-09-2009, 01:10 AM
When he says he wants to play closer to the ball....I'm sure he means actually just being inside the screen when the ball is snapped...

His tackling technique needs tremendous work just be an effective tackler at safety......much less at linebacker...

I could see him being tried as a weakside backer in a Cover-2....but certainly not in a 3-4...

I think playing closer to the LOS would help mask some of his most glaring weaknesses.....which is breaking down and tackling in open space....but it would also magnify others...

Mays is a "clean up" guy IMO.....I'm not sure his best skillset is being confined to a specific responsibility....particularly one where football instincts and correct angles are key...
I think you are right in that aspect, but with his speed I think he could be a dangerous pass rusher. Joey Porter is a starter and all he can do is rush the passer. I'm not saying to use him at ILB, but as a 3-4 OLB I think he could be a good fit.

JT-forpresident
12-09-2009, 01:28 AM
I think you are right in that aspect, but with his speed I think he could be a dangerous pass rusher. Joey Porter is a starter and all he can do is rush the passer. I'm not saying to use him at ILB, but as a 3-4 OLB I think he could be a good fit.


there's much more to it than speed...

being a good pass rushing in a 3-4 requires , IMO:

1- solid technique (bending your knees, keeping your waist low, keep good separation from the Lineman)

2- vast repertoire of pass rush moves (knowing how to use your hands, have a solid outside AND inside move)

3- Get in an OT's head (setting an inside move with a lot of speed rushes for example)

all those things don't come overnight, and they'll take more than some nfl coaching. IMO these attributes in pass rushers are develloped through years and years of coaching and playing ...

switching from safety to a 3-4 outside linebacker ? no

but like slimm said, he could play in a tampa 2 scheme... (much like his former teammate kevin ellison, although he doesn't seem to pan out right now..)

FinsFanatic777
12-09-2009, 03:05 AM
There's too much risk in it. He's not even that great of a safety because he has no instincts. What makes you think he's going to succeed at a LB position? He would have to learn a completely new position and skill techniques to be effective, and such a transition would take years. Also, considering how high Mays is going to go in the draft, you could probably get a stud 6'4" 250 pound OLB with 3-4 years of college experience at the OLB position, or the inconsistent Taylor Mays who couldn't even make a living playing at the safety position for 4 collegiate years. TAke your pick. I'm sticking with a proven OLB.

BobDole
12-09-2009, 10:00 AM
yeah i think he could do it - but more as an OLB in a 4-3. i think he may even be better off making that transition - he's gonna struggle as a safety in the NFL in a big way.