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Originally published April 23, 2010 at 9:44 PM | Page modified April 24, 2010 at 4:11 PM

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Taylor Mays falls to 49th overall, takes verbal shot at Pete Carroll

Carroll and the Seahawks passed on a chance to bring Taylor Mays back to his hometown, opting to pick another safety — Earl Thomas of Texas — with the 14th pick of the first round on Thursday.

Seattle Times staff reporter

RENTON — Four years ago, Taylor Mays left Seattle to play for Pete Carroll at USC.

Carroll and the Seahawks passed on a chance to bring him back to his hometown, opting to pick another safety — Earl Thomas of Texas — with the 14th pick of the first round on Thursday.

Mays, who went to Seattle's O'Dea High School, was chosen by San Francisco with the 49th pick, the fifth safety taken in the draft. During a conference call with Bay Area reporters, Mays was asked about Seattle's selection of Thomas.

"It was interesting," he said, according to The Associated Press. "I definitely thought from the relationship that we have, from the things that he had told me about what I needed to be, what the draft process is, things that I needed to do, I felt he told me the complete opposite of the actions that he took, which was definitely alarming.

"There were things he told me I needed to do as a football player versus the actions he took and who he took as a safety. I understand it's a business, but with it being a business, honesty is all I'm asking for."

The main issue for Mays?

Carroll's implication that Mays didn't have anything to worry about entering the draft.

"That my game was OK," Mays said. "That my backpedal was fine, my tackling was fine, it was all the things that I asked, what do I need to work on, what do I need to show all these points? I was kind of led to think I was OK. It is what it is, and I'm so happy to be with the 49ers on the team Ronnie Lott played on."

Carroll was asked about Mays' comments after the conclusion of the third round Friday night.

"Well, first off, I love Taylor," Carroll said. "I love the player that he is, and we were thinking that we would have a terrific chance to get him somewhere."

Carroll said it was the matter of Seattle getting a player it thought would be chosen as high as seventh overall.

"I'd like to pick all my guys, but it just didn't work out," Carroll said. "Unfortunately for Taylor, it was a hard day for him."


A year ago, Mays was projected as a potential top-15 pick had he entered the draft after his junior season.

"His expectations were very, very high," Carroll said, "and mine, too. So I feel for him. But I know what he's going to be like. ... This is a remarkably competitive guy, and prideful, and I'm sure he's got a chip on his shoulder, and it's going to serve him well.

"It's not going to help us in the division."

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