Tony Pauline Rates Tyrann Mathieu As A Second Round Prospect

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 03: (L-R) Tyrann Mathieu #7 and Morris Claiborne #17 of the LSU Tigers celebrate after Mathieu scored a touchdown on a 62-yard punt return in the second quarter against the Georgia Bulldogs during the 2011 SEC Conference Championship at Georgia Dome on December 3, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Sports Illustrated's Tony Pauline has said that he rates LSU defensive back Tyrann Mathieu as a second round prospect going into the season. Here's an exert from Rotoworld.com:

SI's Tony Pauline believes LSU junior DB Tyrann Mathieu is a second-round prospect. Pauline stresses Mathieu's athleticism, explosiveness, and "game changing return" ability, but acknowledges the size limitations and discomfort with his back to the football. Although many question where Mathieu will play at the next level, Pauline lists him as a cornerback that is "good yet not elite in the secondary." We consider him a future physical, in the box weapon that can move between safety and cornerback.

If a team views him as purely a cornerback, then I can't see him going higher than the second round. Whenever I've seen Mathieu play, I've always thought of him as a safety. He struggles in man coverage, especially in press-man situations.

I think moving him to safety, where he can come down and use his strengths in run support, or sit back in zone coverage would benefit him greatly. Then I could potentially see him in the first round, with a good season under his belt, of course.

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