The Arizona Cardinals selected former LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu with the No. 69 overall pick in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Mathieu is rated as the No. 114 overall prospect and No. 16 best cornerback in this year's draft class by SB Nation's Dan Kadar.
Mathieu is one of the most enigmatic prospects in this year's draft. After finishing the 2011 season as a Heisman Trophy finalist, he was kicked off the LSU football program for testing positive for synthetic marijuana. Ignoring the baggage for a moment, there is plenty to like about Mathieu as a prospect. He has natural instincts, tremendous athleticism and is fearless on the field.
That said, the baggage is present, and Mathieu's size is less than ideal. Though he is willing to take on all comers, NFL scouts are right to worry whether Mathieu's 5'9, 186-pound frame will be an issue when he goes up against larger receivers at the next level. He may be relegated to covering the slot exclusively in the NFL.
After adding Patrick Peterson two years ago, the Cardinals now look to add the third most-storied defensive back from LSU in recent years. Arizona wasn't fazed by his questionable past, and will use his versatility primarily from the nickel position.
Mathieu will need some instruction at the next level, and most importantly some structure. With former teammate Peterson on the team, they'll look to add his dynamic ability in a variety of creative defensive schemes.
Weight: 186 pounds
Hand size: 9 3/8 inches
Arm length: 31 1/8 inches
40-yard dash: 4.50 seconds
Vertical jump: 34 inches
Broad jump: 117 inches
20-yard shuttle: 4.14 seconds
Bench press: 4 reps of 225 pounds
Mathieu had 76 tackles (7.5 for loss, 1.5 sacks), two interceptions and nine pass breakups during his Heisman-caliber 2011 season. In a prime example of his tenaciousness, he also managed to force six fumbles. Mathieu was also an excellent punt returner, averaging 15.6 yards per return and scoring two touchdowns.
For his efforts, Mathieu was named a consensus First Team All-American, SEC Defensive Player of the Year, and the Chuck Bednarik Award winner as the top defensive player in college football.