Tyrann Mathieu, the LSU defensive back whose dominant play on the field made him a Heisman Trophy finalist as a sophomore in 2011, but whose off-field problems got him kicked off the team in 2012, is headed to the NFL in 2013.
Mathieu will announce today that he is entering the 2013 NFL draft, Joe Schad of ESPN reports.
That will make Mathieu one of the most intriguing prospects in next year’s draft. Some see the plays Mathieu makes, both on defense and special teams, and say he’s simply too good a football player to pass up, and will be similar to Janoris Jenkins, the cornerback whose draft stock slipped because of off-field problems but still wound up going in the second round and playing well for the Rams as a rookie. Others say Mathieu’s inability to stay out of trouble off the field, combined with the fact that he has neither the coverage skills nor the size of an elite NFL cornerback, will push him out of the draft entirely.
But no matter where his pro stock is, the reality was that he had already run out of options at the college level. Going pro is the only place for Mathieu to go.