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Should Cardinals consider Taylor Mays?

8/8/2011

Adam from Glendale, Ariz., says he thought the Cardinals should have gone after Taylor Mays even before their own safety, Adrian Wilson, suffered an injury Saturday. He thinks Mays projects as a young Wilson and could learn from the Cardinals' veteran safety before taking over as the starter eventually.

Mays
Mays

Mike Sando: There were some similarities between the two coming out of college. Both were raw athletes. Both carried concerns about pass coverage. Both projected as strong special-teams players initially. Mays had much better track speed coming out of college. But questions about his instincts -- how that speed translated on the field -- pushed him down in the draft. Mays was the 49th player chosen in his draft class. Wilson was the 64th chosen in his.

My initial reaction is that Wilson is a special player, and Arizona should seek in a replacement someone with better coverage skills. Wilson is not as bad in coverage as he appeared last season, but neither is he exceptional at it. He's at his best when the Cardinals find ways to send him after the quarterback. I reached out to Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. for a second opinion. He passed along the following thoughts:

I tend to agree with you, but what other options are out there? I do think Ray Horton would kill for a Troy Polamalu clone -- well, a lesser version of Polamalu. Wilson fit that bill. Maybe Mays could to a lesser degree. Kerry Rhodes does a nice job as the last layer of defense, so I do think they need more strong safety than free safety, but I actually am just not sure exactly what Mays is yet at this level. He is big, but doesn’t insert like Wilson. He is tall and stiff for man-to-man. But I do tend to think there is room for improvement with him. Would San Francisco trade him within the division? If so, and if Pete Carroll weren't interested, that should tell us all we need to know.

Kam Chancellor is having a strong camp for Seattle at strong safety. I don't think Seattle perceives itself as having a huge need at safety. Rookie Mark LeGree is also getting lots of work in various packages.

I see no harm in Arizona taking a chance on Mays for the right price.