Posted November 29, 2012

Honey Badger declares for NFL Draft: What are Tyrann Mathieu’s prospects?

NFL Draft

Tyrann Mathieu seems poised to be the wild card of the 2013 NFL Draft. (Sean Gardner/Reuters)

Next stop in the Honey Badger Express? The NFL Draft.

Former LSU defensive back Tyrann Mathieu announced Thursday that he will enter the 2013 NFL Draft. The decision came about four months after he was dismissed by the Tigers for failing multiple drug tests.

“I am sorry that I was not able to complete my journey at LSU, but I will always support LSU in any way I can,” Mathieu said in a statement. “To my teammates, you are my brothers. You have kept me going. I will do my best to make you all proud of me.”

Mathieu entered a drug rehab program following his fallout with the LSU football team, only to be arrested in October for marijuana possession. Now, Mathieu will be one of the more intriguing and contentious prospects in April’s draft.

The last game that Mathieu played was the BCS national championship on Jan. 9, 2012, meaning that he’ll have gone more than a year prior to the draft without competing. That, plus his off-field red flags, should be more than enough to give teams pause when considering him as a prospect.

Even without all of those issues, however, Mathieu’s draft stock may have been uncertain. He won the 2011 Bednarik Award, handed out to college football’s best defensive player, and was a Heisman finalist after a sophomore season in which he made huge play after huge play — Mathieu finished the 2011 campaign with 76 tackles, 11 interceptions, six forced fumbles, two defensive touchdowns and a pair of punt return touchdowns.

During his time with the Tigers, he was unquestionably one of the most electric players in college football. However, even then there were  questions about how Mathieu’s game would translate to the NFL.

At 5-foot-9 and 175 pounds, Mathieu lacks the prototypical size of an elite cornerback. Any team that selects him also may have to adjust its defensive playbook — Mathieu thrived at LSU, in part, because the coaching staff did not hesitate to use him all over the secondary. Mathieu even slid up as a linebacker to rush the quarterback at times.

That versatility could make Mathieu a home-run pick for a team willing to use him in such a way, but it could detract from those seeking a straight-up cover corner.

And as for those other factors …

Working in Mathieu’s favor may be the recent success of other players with so-called “character issues.” Though the Rams had to suspend Janoris Jenkins in Week 10 for a violation of team rules, he has put together a decent rookie season, highlighted by a two-pick-6 performance last week. Last year, the Ravens rolled the dice in the first round on Jimmy Smith, despite reports that he had failed multiple drug tests and been arrested for third-degree assault. Thus far, the Ravens have had no issues with Smith, aside from some inconsistent play.

The NFL world also received an introduction to Eagles rookie running back Bryce Brown last Monday. Brown was one of the most highly-touted recruits in the 2009 class, only to leave Tennessee after one season, and then bail on Kansas State as well after a report alleged that ex-Miami booster Nevin Shapiro had provided him with improper benefits.

Rather than try to pick up the pieces of his collegiate career, Brown entered the 2012 draft. He was not invited to the NFL combine, then slid all the way to pick 229, where he was plucked by the Eagles. His 178-yard, two-touchdown performance against the Panthers suddenly made that gamble by Philadelphia look like a brilliant one.

Could the Honey Badger fall into a similarly promising situation? He has four months to prove to NFL teams that he’s more than a talented player who’s not worth the trouble.

49 comments
DennisMenard
DennisMenard

The Saints should pick him up late in the draft, or if undrafted, definitely sign him in free agency. Sean Payton would keep him in line & the Saints definitely need a speedy playmaker in the secondary, not to mention he is also good on special teams!

SandraSeeckGrant
SandraSeeckGrant

I think a good fit for him would be Green Bay.  Charles Woodson still has a few years left, but it's a good place to straighten your act out, because if you haven't notice,  you never hear about problem players on the Packers compared to the other teams in the NFC North.

sacking53
sacking53

Raiders! He can goin Pryor and have a good time at the owners expense.

MatthewMinor
MatthewMinor

Pete Carroll could find a use for him I'm sure

TonyHines
TonyHines

Just another drug addict.  he will fit into the NFL perfectly.

larrybradford
larrybradford

Just what the NFL needs, another drug head... I wonder if the NFL will ever wake up and stop those with criminal records from being in the NFL.

jeffcooper71
jeffcooper71

Hopefully for him he does a better job of preparing for the NFL combine than Maurice Clarett

RichLGerhold
RichLGerhold

Maybe he'll be drafted by Seattle or Denver since they both seem to be okay with legalizing MJ.

RPF
RPF

LOL @ someone smoking MJ as having a drug problem. Most NFL athletes smoke it. You can't OD on it and it's healthier than drinking, tobacco, and prescription drugs. Neanderthal thinking. He'll be drafted. 

mikelynncrowe
mikelynncrowe

My first thought was “What is this man thinking?”  He could not stay away from drugs in college, what would happen if he did get drafted and made the money that is possible to make in the NFL?  In my opinion, and no one has asked but that is what makes America great I am going to give it anyway, he needs to get back in school and if he has any eligibility left prove himself on the field there once again after all it takes more than an over inflated ego and a very stupid nickname to be a good NFL player.  Then my next thought was “Forget football.” Get back in rehab get that part of your life back in order then worry about football.   Just one mans opinion.

leehwgoc
leehwgoc

Take the dubious NFL-skillset and also throw in that he has repeatedly demonstrated Kenny Britt levels of personal life stupidity (with no indication of an end to it in sight), and I'm sorry, but I just can't see any team willing to take much of a risk on Mathieu.   Late, late round draft pick, at best.   And it wouldn't shock me if he goes undrafted.

ClintEastman
ClintEastman

Drafted by the LPL...Louisiana Penal League

knorman1969
knorman1969

I hope he has gotten his life together as a player he may be a late round draft pick and he could be a steal for either a good team or one that needs alot of help.  I also hope they have a structure to help this young man with his demons

BigWeezyStyles
BigWeezyStyles

This is insane!  Honey Boo Boo is way too young and too little to be playing professional football. 

Tommy1
Tommy1

ANOTHER SEC BUST ON THE WAY

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

I hope my team doesn't touch this clown but a desperate coaching staff might. He's tiny but that can work in dime coverage against an opposing team's 3rd and 4th WRs who also might be smaller. The salary structure also makes it so teams risk a lot less and poor drafts don't financially cripple a team...speaking of which: JaMarcus says hello.

B8
B8

Buyer beware on drafting Tyrann!  Yes, he does have a potential for adding an immediate impact for a team but so did Pacman Jones.  This guy reminds me of a Pacman.  NFL needs to start holding players accountable for their actions.  If they are caught doing drugs, selling drugs, raping women, abusing women, etc...they need to be booted out of the NFL.  This would happen in Corporate America.  I'm tired of this poor me and give the guy a 2nd chance.  Maybe you should use common sense before doing something stupid!   What a freaking joke this has become with professional sports!  

brighat
brighat

It's going to be a very difficult road to the NFL for Tyrann. Too small, too many red flags and being away from the game for nearly 2 years if he got invited as a college free agent to an NFL team are working against him. Maybe he should look into the CFL first and get himself re-established.

DaveDaniels
DaveDaniels

I hope everyone who refers to this Nygger as "Honey badger" gets colon cancer and dies a horrible death

Mike72
Mike72

Just think of all the drugs and trouble he will do if he get an NFL contract

Mike72
Mike72

Why waist a pick on this drugged out failure.

leehwgoc
leehwgoc

 @RPF Anything done in excess represents a problem.  Mathieu is a pothead with proven self-control issues.  That's a problem.  You're clueless if you truly don't see that.  "Neanderthal thinking" indeed.

 

Btw, for the record, I think marijuana should be legal.  But that doesn't change the fact that it is a vice, like drinking, and people that get addicted to it become just about worthless.

Dave40
Dave40

 @knorman1969 "help this young man with his demons" REALLY? So his problems are demons, and not a total lack of personal responsibility and accountability...?!!

leehwgoc
leehwgoc

 @Tommy1 

 

The NFL is filled with SEC-product *studs* right now, so I don't know what this "another bust" business is about.

 

You want a conference that regularly produces busts, look to the Big Ten and Big East's products lately.

BernieMaddoff
BernieMaddoff

 @B8

you're citing Corporate America as a pillar of moral values? The NFL is the embodiment of corporate america! Greed over character...why do they tolerate all this bullshit? $$$$$

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

 @B8

 At least 1 kind soul here still believes corporate america has moral courage...LIKE

Orange Crush
Orange Crush

He should go back and play one more year in college and show that he can keep himself straight and improve his stock. That is what he originally stated he was going to do. This is a horrible decision by him. It shows that he still lacks commitment and integrity.

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

 @DaveDaniels

 Thank you Charles Benedict Davenport, founder of eugenics for crashing this conversation into a KKK rally. The adults are talking...beat it

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

 @Mike72

I'm just impressed you spelled the word failure correctly. Seeing that word a lot lately?

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

 @Mike72 Yeah, cuz no pot smoker ever found success in this world.     Oh, and waist?   Well done.

LoriSandoval
LoriSandoval

 @T.J.Young I'd say you were right if Al Davis was still alive.  Hopefully, the new management team has more sense.

Bill30
Bill30

 @Dave40  @knorman1969 Yes demons do exist and can influence decision making. First Peter 5:6-9, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time: 7Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you. 8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world."

brighat
brighat

 @Orange Crush - Going to an FCS school and dominating there while getting his head on straight again is the the right move. The problem is getting Tyrann to see it your way. This is a man who thinks he's done nothing wrong. Somebody really needs to have a talk with him and tell him to get over himself.

destin507
destin507

 @Orange Crush I totally agree. If you said you were going to get clean and return to football then show everyone you got the footballs to do so, then go to the NFL. Blowing off the recovery and ditching school is a huge flag that can only signal trouble down the road.

knorman1969
knorman1969

 @Dave40  @Bill30

 When I said structure, I was talking about the organazation that drafts him when you look at past players in nfl such as Ryan Leaf, Matt Jones and current players like Dez Bryant the need some structure but that is not a replacement for personal responsibility.  I don't get into the saving the soul thing, not really sure how that works

leehwgoc
leehwgoc

 @Hoss  @Tommy1 Hmm. 

 

Thinking about it a bit more...

 

I think maybe it's YOUR feelings that are hurt, aren't they.

leehwgoc
leehwgoc

 @Hoss  @Tommy1 

 

lol?  Where exactly do you see evidence of 'hurt feelings' in that comment up there?  I was obviously just correcting someone who evidently isn't very informed about current trends in the NFL.  I couldn't care less about collegiate conference rivalries, I only care about which rookies should be paid more attention to in fantasy football.  And lately, that's SEC products.