In the 2013 NFL Draft, former LSU Tigers defensive back Tyrann Mathieu will be hoping for his chance to play in the pros. The highly decorated corner, who earned the nickname "Honey Badger," was a true playmaker for the Tigers defense. In 2011, it appeared as if Mathieu was on his way to NFL stardom.
However, his off-the-field activities brought a premature conclusion to his college career, as he was exiled from the LSU football program. On more than one occasion, Mathieu had run-ins with the university and the police, due to his marijuana use.
He repeatedly failed drug tests administered by the school and blew virtually every chance he was given. After his dismissal, Mathieu withdrew from Louisiana State University and declared for the NFL Draft.
- In 2011, Mathieu was an All-American, first-team SEC, SEC Defensive Player of the Year, SEC Championship Game MVP, Chuck Bednarik Award winner, Cotton Bowl Defensive MVP and a Heisman Finalist.
- He has incredible instincts and a knack for getting his hands on the ball. Mathieu is a playmaker on defense and all-around football player.
- Even with his lack of size, Mathieu is an aggressive tackler.
- He can immediately contribute as a special teamer; either as a returner or gunner. While at LSU, Mathieu was ranked 2nd in the nation with 16.2 yards per punt return.
- Mathieu projects to be a real X-factor and could excel as a nickel corner.
- CBS Sports reports:
A few NFL players have taken Mathieu under their wing, including Cardinals cornerback and former LSU teammate Patrick Peterson, Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis and Giants cornerback Corey Webster - also a former LSU star.
- At 5'9, 180 pounds, Mathieu is undersized and could struggle against bigger, more physical receivers at the pro level
- There is even greater temptation at the NFL level and Mathieu showed a predilection for misbehavior in college. His maturity, trustworthiness and dependability will all be questioned.
- He is quicker than he is fast, and could be burned by faster receivers with straight-line speed.
- His aggressiveness and the fact that he relies on his instincts occasionally bites him. This eager style of play may remove him from the play prematurely.
Possible Destinations: Houston, San Francisco, Oakland, Atlanta, Detroit, Washington, Miami, New York (A), Baltimore
His playmaking ability is only comparable to someone like Ed Reed -- not to suggest he will be a future Hall of Famer. But the way Mathieu is utilized as a blitzer, returner and hawking defensive back is similar to Reed's style. Mathieu will sneak down to the line of scrimmage and fire off the edge.
He is also always going after the football. He is constantly ripping it at and trying to jar it loose. And when it does, Mathieu has the vision and quickness to bring it back for a score. And like Reed, Mathieu is an instinctual player through and through.
He also compares to Rogers, because like him, Mathieu would likely play out of the nickel. Rogers typically covers up the slot receiver and occasionally blitzes in Vic Fangio's scheme. If Mathieu reaches his ceiling, his play should model these two Pro Bowlers.
According to CBS Sports, Mathieu is the 22nd-ranked player at his position, and a projected fifth- or sixth-rounder.
According to NFL Draft Scout, Mathieu was a top-40 pick before his suspensions. Now it depends on how teams value him individually.