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Posted Oct. 17, 2009

Mays-Clausen and Gaines Adams

Taylor Mays vs. Jimmy Clausen

Draftniks should be drooling over this matchup. I just can't wait. Charlie Weis won't shy from throwing the ball on USC's overrated defensive backfield, and I don't think he will avoid Taylor Mays.

This game could make or break Taylor Mays in my opinion. If he takes good angles to the ball and reacts quickly against a potential No. 1 pick, then I'll start to think maybe I have been too hard on him recently.

If Mays completely gets exposed and can't cover, then I wouldn't draft him in the first round. You don't draft safeties in the first round who can't cover (i.e. Roy Williams).

Jimmy Clausen needs to manipulate Mays with his eyes. Get that free safety pulled against the Cover 2 to give yourself a passing lane to hit those post and flag routes down the field.

Big plays in the passing game could get Notre Dame a huge win, and I think the Irish will definitely cover the spread. Don't be shocked to see Clausen work his magic and upset USC in South Bend.

Gaines Adams Trade Lesson

Let's go back to the 2007 NFL Draft. Tampa had drafted Cadillac Williams two years prior, but he couldn't stay healthy in Tampa. They spent top-five money on Williams, so the smart thing to do would be to invest No. 4 overall money in another injury-prone running back in college, right?

Wrong. Gaines Adams was a monster pass rusher at Clemson. He truly does have all the tools and talent to dominate.

The problem is he isn't very physically tough. He didn't put up a fight this year in Tampa, Raheem Morris called him out, and he didn't respond. General manager Mark Dominik gave up, and to an extent, I don't blame him.

Would I have traded Gaines? Not for just a second. I'm going to want a little more value than that. Give me a second- and a fourth-rounder and the deal is done. Gaines didn't show much this season.

What happened to that beast of a pass rusher?

Top-10 money is what happened. It isn't a coincidence that Adams, Levi Brown, Jamaal Anderson and Amobi Okoye didn't pan out.

These guys are being paid too much money. Combine Adams' lack of mental toughness with an inadequate will to dominate on the field because you are financially set up for life, and you might get an underproductive player.

Don't believe me? How did a high-effort player with an elite work ethic in Chris Long get demoted to second string this season? Money.

It is human nature to not work as hard when you "make it." Many great musical artists' best album is their album they made right before they hit mainstream. Then they simply lose their will and their creativity.

This was a pretty fair trade, and you have to remember Detroit was very serious about drafting Adams at No. 2 overall in 2007. This is what Monte Kiffin said, and he is great friends with Rod Marinelli.

Who is Adams' new line coach? Marinelli, and I wouldn't be shocked if he worked his magic and Chicago turned this fair trade into a blockbuster.

No matter what Tampa could do, they just couldn't get Adams to play hard, and I don't think they did anything wrong in their development of Adams.

Sometimes, the responsibility needs to be allocated to players, and not just the decision makers. All coaches can do is coach.

At some point, players need to make plays, and Gaines Adams didn't make enough of them in Tampa.

Matt McGuire's Recent NFL Draft Blog Entries:

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The Top Five Reasons the Redskins Won't Pass on Jimmy Clausen - 2/22
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