As we approach preseason game number 2 against the Washington Redskins, the competition for position on Green Bay’s running back depth chart continues to heat up. With Ty Montgomery the clear number 1 back, the three rookies have been battling hard to be Monty’s backup. Thus far in camp all 3 of the draft picks at running back have preformed up to my expectations or exceeded them in Devante Mays case.
If I’m being honest, I originally looked at this pick as a high potential pick which would take at least a year to pan out. I’ve never once questioned Mays athleticism, which is why I did and still do think he has huge potential. He has shown us all in training camp that he is more than just a good athlete. If you watched the first preseason game, you certainly took notice of a brilliant play Mays made on fourth and short. Mays caught a pass behind the line of scrimmage, he made a tackler miss which resulted in a fourth down conversion. Making plays like these should allow Devante Mays to get more opportunities. Lets take a deeper look at what to expect from Mays on field in the future…
After a standout high school career at Livingston (TX) High School, Mays bounced around from two JUCO programs before settling in at Utah State. After one season at Tyler Junior College, he made the move to Blinn Junior College where he he rushed for 557 yards on 57 carries (9.8 ypc/92.8 ypg) with three touchdowns in six games. His first season at Utah State Mays played in all 13 games making six starts at running back. He finished the year with 165 carries for 966 yards (5.9 ypr) with nine touchdowns to lead the team in all three categories. His senior season was mostly derailed by injuries, playing in only 6 games and making 2 starts. Mays looked very good in the season opener against Weber State with 208 yards on 18 carries racking up 3 rushing touchdowns.
As I previously mentioned, Mays is an incredible athlete…especially considering he stands at 5’11” 230 pounds. His most impressive pro day result was a 40.5 inch vertical in my opinion. He also posted 22 reps on the bench press, a 4.47 sec. 40 yard dash, and a 10.9 foot broad jump. If Mays showcases his skills at the combine, he would have posted the highest vertical jump, third fastest 40 time, and second best broad jump. Those are very impressive numbers for an individual who weighs 230 pounds. Athleticism is Mays strength without question. He will be a big threat to hit a home run any time he gets to the second level at the next level.
Devante Mays has a physical running style with the NFL size to back it up. Shows patience in allowing the play to develop. Great speed-size combination. Falls forward on runs consistently. Has shown ability to pass block as well as act as a receiver in camp. Shows ability to bounce plays outside with success. High praise from people within his college program in terms of work ethic and attitude.
Inexperienced as a division one running back with only 8 starts in two seasons. Had only two catches in his time at Utah State, but has shown promise as a receiver. Inconsistent vision, will make the wrong read at times. Waits for too long for the hole to open up sometimes, needs to find the lane and hit it more quickly. Knee injury concerns.
How He Fits in Green Bay
There is no guarantee that Mays makes the 53 man roster with 3 other talented backs on the roster. Each of the three rookie backs have had promising camps, so it seems that Mays is the 4th man on the depth chart for now. With Joe Kerridge and a variety of wideouts gunning hard to make the roster, Mays has his work cut out for him making this roster. It is currently unknown how long Ty Montgomery will be out after missing practice this week with a “soft tissue” injury in his leg. Montgomery has an injury history, and with two other inexperienced rookies on the roster the team may want to keep all hands on deck. This is especially true after what became of the position after the injuries of Starks and Lacy.
As far as what Mays will contribute this season goes, we might not see a whole lot of him. With Williams figuring to get most of the #2 carries and Jones being a better fit at 3rd down back, he will have to fight hard to get on the field. He has the ability to do big things athletically, his skills just need some refining. He could find a role on special teams as a kick returner as well. This preseason will answer a lot of our questions when it comes to Devante Mays. Watch for number 32 out there on Saturday verses the Redskins.
What are your first impressions of Devante Mays? Let us know in the comments section or tweet at us @PTTF_Podcast. You can also interact with me on twitter @TrackOnPack. Thanks for reading and as always, Go Pack Go!