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A glance into Tyrann Mathieu’s football and NFL future

File photo of Tyrann Mathieu in Baton Rouge Reuters

2011 Heisman Trophy finalist Tyrann Mathieu was dismissed from the LSU football team on Friday for disciplinary reasons. ESPN’s Chris Low has reported Mathieu was booted for repeated violations of LSU’s substance abuse policy.

Like Janoris Jenkins a year ago, Mathieu is pursuing options at the FCS level, formerly known as Division I-AA. He has already visited McNeese State. Jackson State and Prairie View A&M are reportedly also on Mathieu’s radar. Check out CFT for the latest on Mathieu’s college future.

As an NFL-oriented site, PFT’s concern is with Mathieu’s future as a big-league, pro player. Listed at 5-foot-9, 175 pounds by LSU, Mathieu is an undersized but versatile defensive back with a knack for taking the football away from opponents. In two seasons at LSU, Mathieu forced 11 fumbles, intercepted four passes, recovered eight fumbles, and recorded six sacks. Also a dynamic return specialist, Mathieu scored twice on 2011 punt returns.

Last month, I broke down five of Mathieu’s sophomore-year games. He roamed all over LSU’s defensive formation, playing 36 percent of his snaps at slot cornerback, 32.5 percent at outside corner, and 10 percent at safety. On 21 percent of his plays, Mathieu operated primarily as a pass-rushing linebacker. He was a “joker” in LSU’s defense, wreaking havoc and causing collisions. He is a relentlessly physical defender. And while common perception might lead you to believe differently, I didn’t find Mathieu to be a liability in coverage.

Bang it here for that five-game breakdown.

Mathieu appears headed for one year of FCS ball, and the NFL draft in 2013. While NFL teams will surely red flag Mathieu for character concerns and internally debate his next-level position fit, they’re going to be impressed with his college game tape. Jenkins and Mathieu are different kinds of players, to be sure; Jenkins is a coverage corner, while Mathieu is a weapon with which a defense can attack an offense. But they are both former SEC stars who dropped down a level due to off-field issues, and it wouldn’t be surprising if they ended up being selected in the same draft vicinity.

The Rams made Jenkins the 39th overall pick in April’s draft.

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37 Responses to “A glance into Tyrann Mathieu’s football and NFL future”
  1. deepfreezerob says: Aug 11, 2012 3:44 PM

    I would take him for the Detroit Lions , all jokes to come aside. Maybe Joe Dumars can give him some advice since he went to McNeese State

  2. blackandbluedivision says: Aug 11, 2012 3:45 PM

    Money doesn’t change a person. If Mathieu has failed three drug tests (as the rumors say), then giving him more money and fame an fortune to go along with that ego isn’t going to help him.

  3. blackandbluedivision says: Aug 11, 2012 3:45 PM

    If he does go into the NFL he might be a good strong safety.

  4. linvillegorge says: Aug 11, 2012 3:46 PM

    Like Jenkins, a lot of teams will knock him down the board due to off-field concerns, but all it takes is one team to love him. My Panthers have a dire need at CB. We have Chris Gamble and a bunch of roster filler at CB.

  5. ddjesus says: Aug 11, 2012 3:48 PM

    possible heir to Charles Woodson? Sounds like this kid does exactly what Chuck does for the packers.

  6. njsteelersfan says: Aug 11, 2012 3:48 PM

    There so many DUMB ppl its unreal !!! This guy could of had the world by the balls the way he played .

  7. cometkazie says: Aug 11, 2012 3:50 PM

    Evan, I think you hit the nail on the head.

  8. mintberrycrunch1 says: Aug 11, 2012 3:50 PM

    His physical style reminds me of Brandon Flowers.

  9. drunkenagitator says: Aug 11, 2012 3:54 PM

    He has the talent, but he’s also very childish and will probably bring a lot of headaches to the table too. If he ever grows up he’ll be a real asset for some team.

  10. cincinnasti says: Aug 11, 2012 4:02 PM

    blackandbluedivision says: Aug 11, 2012 3:45 PM

    Money doesn’t change a person. If Mathieu has failed three drug tests (as the rumors say), then giving him more money and fame an fortune to go along with that ego isn’t going to help him.

    _____

    So what’s your suggestion? Drop out of football and don’t even try for the draft all together? Because he failed some drug tests? Be real.. Money may not be the answer his problems.. But not pursuing it isn’t the answer either..

  11. squinn21 says: Aug 11, 2012 4:02 PM

    Lol at the comparison to Charles Woodson on one of the above comments. His game migh be similiar buy Woodson is doing it at 4 inches taller and about 30 pounds heavier. Honey badger is a little dude.

  12. crabboil says: Aug 11, 2012 4:11 PM

    McCarron brutalized him in the BCS Championship. Bama specifically targeted him and had their with him. Honey Badger takes what he wants, and he was taking it all night.

  13. surferbum01 says: Aug 11, 2012 4:11 PM

    Quick!! Someone tell the Titans THIS is their guy!

  14. surferbum01 says: Aug 11, 2012 4:15 PM

    from LSU to……wait for it…….Prairie View A&M????

    Geez, kid.

  15. blackandbluedivision says: Aug 11, 2012 4:18 PM

    cincinnasti says:
    Aug 11, 2012 4:02 PM
    blackandbluedivision says: Aug 11, 2012 3:45 PM

    Money doesn’t change a person. If Mathieu has failed three drug tests (as the rumors say), then giving him more money and fame an fortune to go along with that ego isn’t going to help him.

    _____

    So what’s your suggestion? Drop out of football and don’t even try for the draft all together? Because he failed some drug tests? Be real.. Money may not be the answer his problems.. But not pursuing it isn’t the answer either..

    __________________________

    He failed three drug tests. Not a few. A few is two. If you don’t change up after failing two drug tests you have a problem.

    I never said anything about him dropping out of football. It was a note to teams which they probably already know. I’m just saying people need to be cautious when they’re projecting him in the draft. Jenkins was kicked off the team for drug related arrests and other actions. This guys has a stronger drug problem (reportedly failed three drug tests) and an ego to match.

    No he shouldn’t pursue it but teams need to be weary of throwing money at him. The kid needs help and by all accounts he isn’t trying to get it.

  16. steelers4385 says: Aug 11, 2012 4:20 PM

    Noooo he smoked weed. He should be senteced life in prison

  17. baymac408 says: Aug 11, 2012 4:23 PM

    Dudes a baller no matter size he has the intangibles.. He will ball for a year at some unknown school then get drafted.. It’s probably only weed Anyways.. Practically legal…. Should be!

  18. footballfan01 says: Aug 11, 2012 4:24 PM

    Future Bengal for sure.

  19. linvillegorge says: Aug 11, 2012 4:24 PM

    Due to his size, he’s probably best suited as a nickelback inthe NFL but #3 WRs and #3 CBs are essentially 12th starters in the NFL and this kid brings a great outside blitzing threat to the position. I’d love to have him.

  20. philwauke says: Aug 11, 2012 4:31 PM

    maybe this will be a wake up call.

  21. One Up the Bum says: Aug 11, 2012 4:31 PM

    If it really is heroine like I’ve heard, I can’t imagine anyone able to play football while cluckin for that.

  22. 1075thefan says: Aug 11, 2012 4:33 PM

    honey badger dont care

  23. captainloaded says: Aug 11, 2012 4:41 PM

    Right now, I don’t envision him being a pick in the top three rounds.
    1. His size hurts.
    2. He can’t stay clean.
    3. His team can’t depend on him to stay clean.

    He can help his team or he can smoke up……History shows the decision he has made.

  24. captainloaded says: Aug 11, 2012 5:12 PM

    rules are rules. Some don’t believe weed should be illegal, some do…..For now, it’s classified as a prohibited substance. If you play a sport that requires you not to have it in your system, then don’t do it. Anything else is putting yourself above the team. It’s selfish and stupid.

    Like or dislike what I have to say, it’s the rules in place.

  25. rickastleydancemoves says: Aug 11, 2012 5:25 PM

    I’d love to see him lined up in front Calvin Johnson. Towered over by 8 inches and outweighted by 65 lbs. He’d get taken to the woodshed.

  26. dryzzt23 says: Aug 11, 2012 5:41 PM

    I do not want this pothead on my Steelers. He has a 2nd shot in college but does not deserve to be a professional due to his poor life choices.

  27. whatchutalkinabouthillis says: Aug 11, 2012 5:42 PM

    He had too much attention lavished on him and it went to his head. He must have thought “The Honey Badger” was untouchable. Good integrity move by Les Miles, I’m impressed. Cute nicknames don’t pay the bills Tyrann, you need to grow up.

  28. txxxchief says: Aug 11, 2012 5:53 PM

    Sounds like he’s taken the honey badger credo a bit too much to heart.

  29. kappy32 says: Aug 11, 2012 6:02 PM

    Deepfreezerob:

    Of course you’d take him on the Lions. I guess 6 arrests amongst 3 players this offseason wasn’t enough for you to care about character concerns on your team. If the Lions were smart, they’d steer clear of him because they are taking over the Bengals for Team Convict.

    He belongs on a team such as the Giants or Pats where he would be faced with a no BS head coach & ownership who would make it clear that 1 screw up & he’s gone. Both teams, specifically under their current head coaches, have a good history of taking malcontents & making them successful team players. If he finds himself on a team such as the Lions, Bengals or Jets, teams with coaches that do not promote accountability, personal & organizational responsibility & maturity, he’ll find himself out of the NFL just as quick as he found himself out of a top school, in the premier college football conference in the SEC.

  30. stac266 says: Aug 11, 2012 6:40 PM

    He hurt himself but more importantly he hurt his team and his fans. He’s being punished for that. Lets not forget that’s its just as illegal for most of these to kids to drink a beer as it is to smoke weed. I hope he learns something from this and makes it to the NFL. He’s a lot of fun to watch.

  31. bigguy79 says: Aug 11, 2012 6:46 PM

    Just another fine upstanding young man – just what the NFL needs more headaches

  32. ufullpj says: Aug 11, 2012 7:39 PM

    He’s a good player, but he’s way, way, way, way overhyped. He’s a great example of why it’s so easy to hate on ESPN…they took a very good player and made it seem like he was the next coming of Prime….and he’s nowhere close. Good college player. Not a great player.

  33. cheddarisbeddar says: Aug 11, 2012 10:27 PM

    The only way to get rid of a honey badger is to smoke it out. Boom

  34. vincentbojackson says: Aug 11, 2012 11:12 PM

    Best case scenario, he goes to the Jets and Santonio takes him under his wing and shows him how to be a true professional.

  35. Soulman45 says: Aug 12, 2012 1:03 AM

    He can come to the Lions in the 4th round.

  36. smileyblow says: Aug 12, 2012 10:23 AM

    Funny, somebody mentioned he should go into that “UFL” league. lol.

    He, like the rest of the nation, probably don’t even know what that league is!

    Have fun at McNeese State…..

  37. allbucdup says: Aug 12, 2012 1:09 PM

    I live in the Tampa area and every time I watched him I thought of Ronde Barber (with exception of the drug problems of course). He has a little more athletic ability for sure than Ronde. I think playing nickel corner in a hybrid scheme is this kids best fit,

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