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Mays Touches Down, 49ers Wrap Up Draft

Posted Apr 24, 2010



Speed, quickness, power and a dash of attitude – that’s what 49ers head coach Mike Singletary wanted in his 2010 Draft class.

With eight selections over the three-day draft, the 49ers accomplished exactly that.

“In terms of this draft class, I think this takes us up a notch, and we’re going to continue to add players who are physical football players,” Director of Player Personnel Trent Baalke said after the conclusion of seven rounds. “That doesn’t mean we’re never going to make an exception. But, in this case, we went in thinking big and that’s what we got.”

The 49ers acquired the perfect combination of size and speed in selecting USC safety Taylor Mays with the No. 49 overall pick on Friday, and got acquainted with their newest defensive back once the draft concluded.

“I’m excited about him coming here and being a part of our defense,” Singletary said of Mays while introducing him to local reporters. “We know that he will continue to bring the physicality and be the playmaker on the defense to get to the next level. I’m very excited to have a player of his caliber here.”

Likewise, the 6-foot-3, 230-pound defensive back was pleased to be at team headquarters holding a new jersey with a new number on it.

“I’ve always had a two on my jersey – but the 2-3 – it’s good. I’m going to make it happen,” Mays said.

Now that Mays has his number picked out, he can focus on the task at hand, becoming the best football player he can possibly be.

“I knew if I ended up on this team, regardless of what happened in my career, it would be a team that would push me to the limit, that would push me to maximize my potential every day, and really, that’s all I could ask of myself, being in a situation where I’m going to get the most out of my ability,” Mays said.

Being with the 49ers also gives Mays the chance to follow in the footsteps of one of his mentors, 49ers Hall of Fame safety Ronnie Lott. The two have spent lots of time together over the years, and even spoke twice before Mays held his first 49ers press conference.

“He told me great words of wisdom like he always does. I always listen to everything that he says and try to apply it to my life,” Mays said. “He’s been a great role model and mentor for me. And, when he says it to me it means a lot. I definitely take it with me.”

Rounds 4-7 Recap

Saturday morning was not exactly the most action-packed portion of the 49ers draft. After trading their fourth-round pick along with the No. 13 overall pick to acquire Anthony Davis on Thursday and sending their fifth-round pick to the Miami Dolphins for Ted Ginn Jr., the 49ers had lots of time to prepare for the later rounds.

According to Baalke, the team was forced to wait until their picks came up because most teams weren’t interested in acquiring any of the 49ers three, sixth-round picks.

Knowing that, Baalke waited for players with high grades to be available at their selections and pounced on those players once the 49ers were on the clock.

With the No. 173 overall pick, the 49ers jumped at the chance to select running back Anthony Dixon out of Mississippi State. The 6-foot-0, 233-pound bruising running back, who led the SEC in rushing last season, provides a power option that Singletary coveted heading into the draft.

“I’m very excited to get him where we got him," Singletary said. "He’s a big back. He’s a guy that’s got great feet, great quickness. [Offensive coordinator] Jimmy [Raye] cannot wait to get his hands on him. When you’re trying to close out a game, that’s the kind of guy you want in the fourth quarter.”

Dixon was beyond ecstatic to play for his favorite team.

“I was hoping for this because I’m a 49ers fan with [WR] Jerry Rice and those guys. This is my favorite team. You ask anybody that’ll talk to you and they’ll tell you that. I’m so happy right now I don’t know what to do.”

After the Dixon selection, the 49ers picked Pittsburgh tight end Nate Byham, who was equally eager to join the physical culture being built in San Francisco.

“I don’t shy away from contact,” the 6-foot-4, 268-pound tight end said. “I’m going into the hole and I’m trying to hit somebody. I think that’s what makes me unique.”

The 49ers added another unique talent with their final sixth-round pick, selecting wide receiver Kyle Williams out of Arizona State. The 5-foot-11, 186-pound slot receiver caught the attention of the 49ers with a blazing 40-yard dash (4.3) at his pro day.

“That’s a good weapon to have,” Singletary said. “It also gives us some flexibility as a punt returner and a kickoff returner. That was very nice to be able to add him at the place we did.”

The 49ers concluded their draft by selecting cornerback Phillip Adams out of South Carolina State. The unheralded prospect was certainly valued by the 49ers coaching staff. He impressed the group in his pre-draft visit.

“Adams (is) a little more of a raw type corner, but has all of the tools,” Singletary added. “It was a guy that given the time and the skill to develop, is going to really compete at that position. I’m really excited about him as well.”