S Taylor Mays
Taylor Mays was a hard-hitting safety from USC who many had pegged as a surefire first-rounder as the 2010 NFL Draft approached. However as the draft grew nigh, concerns were raised about his overall coverage skills and some were saying his future could be at outside linebacker. That uncertainty about his position, caused him to fall to the second round where the 49ers took him with the 49th overall choice.
Mays finished his rookie season with 38 total tackles, one tackle for a loss, a forced fumble, and two pass breakups. In a weird turn of events, he was traded the following season to the Cincinnati Bengals for just a seventh-round pick. That wasn’t great value for the 49ers, but their new coaching regime wasn’t on board with the hard-hitting safety.
Mays didn’t exactly set the world on fire in Cincinnati and was primarily a depth piece. He did get to work with Mike Zimmer, but still only mustered 60 total tackles, four pass breakups, and one tackle for a loss in four seasons.
The Vikings signed Mays during the 2015 offseason reuniting him with Mike Zimmer. Many fans had high hopes for the hard-hitting safety, but he didn’t even make it to training camp, being released in June of that year. While Mays never played a meaningful snap for the Vikings he did sign a contract with the team, making him a forgotten part of Minnesota Vikings’ lore.