Tyrann Mathieu Will Be One Of The More Intriguing Picks In The 2013 NFL Draft
Tyrann Mathieu will be one of the much-discussed 2013 NFL Draft prospects for a number of NFL teams. His failed drug tests due to marijuana use ended his playing days at LSU in August of 2012. Mathieu’s subsequent October, 2012 arrest for marijuana possession reveals the depth of his problem. The former LSU All-American’s off the field troubles will cause his draft stock to slide. He will have to be in outstanding physical condition at the NFL Scouting Combine and interview surprisingly well to convince a team to spend a 3rd round pick on him.
As a football player, Mathieu could give an NFL team with a playmaker in the secondary. The 2011 Bednarik Award winner is undersized (5’9″ and 175 lbs) for an NFL cornerback, but he plays big for his size. The “Honey Badger” earned his nickname with his fearless play, competitiveness and ability to generate turnovers. In fact, Mathieu may make a better free safety than slot cornerback in the NFL.
The best part of Mathieu’s game is his uncanny instincts. The 2011 Heisman Trophy candidate finds the football and makes plays. He is like a small version of Troy Polamalu with the way he can make tackles for loss, blitz, cause fumbles, break up passes and make interceptions. An NFL team may not make the best use of Mathieu’s ability if they view him strictly as a cornerback. His small size will make him more vulnerable to being overpowered against bigger and stronger pro receivers. He does not have textbook technique as a cornerback.
Mathieu at free safety would be able to use his terrific football instincts to fly all over the field and be disruptive. His quick and strong hands are skilled at dislodging the football. There have been some small free safeties that enjoyed success in the NFL. Thomas Everett (5′ 9″ and 185 lbs) and Jim Leonhard (5′ 8″ and 185 lbs) are just a couple of examples. Mathieu is an aggressive player who is not shy about coming up and making a tackle. His quick feet and elusiveness also make him a dangerous punt returner.
It will be interesting to see which team and what round Tyrann Mathieu gets selected in the 2013 NFL Draft. The young man clearly has room to mature and has made mistakes. Most NFL teams will view him as a slot cornerback and a punt returner. However, there could be an NFL coach that sees him as a disruptive free safety who makes a nuisance of himself to opposing offenses.
By Denis Krusos
http://www.profootballdraftnetwork.com provides extensive pre and post NFL draft analysis. The site features scouting reports, rankings, top values, biggest risks, interviews with college coaches, players and mock drafts.
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