Inside the Pac-12

January 27, 2010 10:20 PM

Trojans Have Something To Prove At Senior Bowl

4d539d04d4b568f2.jpgStafon Johnson and Taylor Mays hope to perform good enough in Mobile to increase their stock before the 2010 NFL Draft. This is the time of year that all the college football players that we thought were great will get over analyzed and picked apart. If you listen to all the pre-draft evaluations you will start to believe that the production you saw on Saturdays was all a mirage. Johnson is trying to get back into rhythm after months of inactivity after a weight room accident and Mays has found himself behind Eric Berry and possibly Myron Rolle in the minds of many draft experts.

Taylor Mays is being called on the carpet, because he did not produce more than 5 interceptions during his career at USC. This week Mays must prove that he can be a factor when the ball is in the air. As a freshmen Taylor had 62 tackles and 3 picks. Mays does have the talent to make plays on the ball, but what should not be overlooked is his ability to stop the run and control the middle of the field with his intimidating hits. As a SS Mays will be a big asset when he walks down and becomes the eighth man in the box.

Johnson will not be picked as high as C.J. Spiller, Ryan Matthews or Jahvid Best, but Johnson has the ability to make some noise in the NFL. It is important to remember that Johnson split carries with Joe McKnight. If Johnson were the feature back his production would have been on par with some of the best RB's in the country. In his second season Stafon ran for 673 yards and averaged 6.9 YPC. As a Jr. he ran for 705 yards, averaged 5.1 YPC and scored 9 TD's. A good week of practice might get Johnson drafted a round higher than he is projected to go.

Before the 2009 NFL Draft many people felt that a lot of the players coming out of USC were rated higher that they should have been. Thanks to the production of Clay Matthews and Brian Cushing during the 2009 NFL season players from USC might be looked at differently in the 2010 NFL Draft.

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