Discussion

Mays leads pro talent in USC-Notre Dame matchup

Updated: October 15, 2009, 2:09 PM ET
By Steve Muench
Pro scouts will have a keen eye on the happenings in South Bend on Saturday when several early-round NFL draft prospects take the field as USC and Notre Dame square off. Nine players in the game project to come off the board in the first three rounds, including three possible first-rounders.

Here's a look at Scouts Inc.'s breakdowns of those nine players:

USC S Taylor Mays (6-foot-3, 236 pounds); Scouts Inc. grade: 94: Mays has the physical tools to start at free safety or strong safety in any NFL scheme. He has great size as well as speed that shows up on film, and he can line up in the box or play over the top in coverage. Mays can be overaggressive at times, but he can make big hits as a run-defender and in coverage. Among his drawbacks, he could take better angles in run pursuit and while covering when the ball is in the air, and he has some minor durability concerns. Still, Mays is a solid mid-first-round pick.

To see why Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen has moved into the first round, where USC's impressive skill players fit into the NFL draft picture and notes from around the country, become an ESPN Insider. Insider

MORE NFL HEADLINES