Mays, Brown both projected to go in first round

As the NFL draft approaches, pundits and analysts are spending a large amount of time predicting which prospects will go where and when.

ESPN’s NFL Draft experts Todd McShay and Mel Kiper, Jr. released their most recent mock draft Wednesday, and both included two USC prospects in the first round.

McShay projected tackle Charles Brown to become a Green Bay Packer with the 23rd pick in the draft, and had safety Taylor Mays joining the Dallas Cowboys with the 27th pick. Kiper, on the other hand, had Brown going 27th to the Cowboys and Mays going 30th to the Minnesota Vikings.

Brown and Mays have both seem drastic changes in their draft projections throughout the last season. Brown was named a first team All-American by multiple sources this season, and has seen his stock rise significantly.

Mays, on the other hand, was projected as the top safety in the draft last season, and a possible top five pick. During his senior season, Mays was routinely criticized for his coverage ability and saw his draft stock plummet. An outstanding combine, highlighted by a controversial 40-yard dash timed anywhere from 4.24 to 4.43, helped him regain momentum heading into the draft.

Mays, Brown and the other nine Trojans entering the draft hope to continue the recent USC tradition of getting drafted in the first round. Three Trojans were taken in the fist round of 2009, four in 2008 and two in 2006.