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Honey Badger viewed as a fourth-round prospect

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With former LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu declaring his intent to enter the NFL draft, the obvious question becomes when will he be drafted?

We cast the net on Thursday, and there’s a school of thought that he’s headed for round four.

Of course, if only one team thinks more highly of the Honey Badger, he could go higher than round four.  For now, though, the middle rounds are where he’d likely go — if the draft were held today.

One evaluator said that Mathieu was a better college player and hype machine than pro prospect.  He projects to be a reserve defensive back and a kick returner at the next level, with his return skills being regarded as more valuable than his coverage skills.

Another said that Mathieu is a quick, instinctive, tough playmaker in the slot.  But his size and character will be major concerns.

The fact that Rams rookie cornerback Janoris Jenkins is looking like a second-round steal could help Mathieu.  But there are major differences between the two players.  Jenkins found a landing spot and turned himself around after getting kicked out of Florida.  Mathieu bottomed out after getting the boot from LSU, and he will have gone a full season without playing at the time he enters the draft.

Based on numerous reports, Mathieu’s major problem seems to be an affinity for marijuana.  Most NFL teams don’t care if guys smoke it; the problem arises when a player, when forced to choose between marijuana and football, chooses marijuana.

Mathieu’s biggest challenge will be persuading teams that he is now choosing football.  And that he’s not just saying what he thinks he needs to say.  If he can do that, and if he can generate some positive buzz with his physical skills during the pre-draft workouts, he could move up as April approaches.

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21 Responses to “Honey Badger viewed as a fourth-round prospect”
  1. whatsafairway says: Nov 30, 2012 9:03 AM

    Isn’t this the site about professionals? Does someone really care about a story of this moron and his hash pipe?

  2. FinFan68 says: Nov 30, 2012 9:09 AM

    Is there any doubt he will fail the drug test at the combine?

  3. trojanwarrior007 says: Nov 30, 2012 9:15 AM

    he just needs to give Onterrio Smith a call and take whizzinator lessons.

  4. someidiotfromouthereintheprojects says: Nov 30, 2012 9:22 AM

    I would’ve figured this kid would be a day 1 starter in the secondary and a special teams monster. round 4 seems a bit far down.

  5. jkmccrty says: Nov 30, 2012 9:23 AM

    this guy is more likely to be a UDFA then round 4. He will be lucky to go higher than 6. It only takes one team to see “something” but he is not that great a prospect for the NFL.

  6. lavishcountryboy says: Nov 30, 2012 9:29 AM

    I will take this guy on my Panthers team in a second. We need all the help we can get on special teams!

  7. qdog112 says: Nov 30, 2012 9:32 AM

    Kiper is wrong, as usual. There is noway this guy is on the board at the 4th round. This game is more and more about playmakers. Getting a scorer on offense, is one thing, but getting a potential game-changer who can score on defense is a huge bonus.

    He can RK/RP and play nickle right away. He will not last past the second round. I said the same thing about Josh Gordon and was right. When’s the last time Kiper was right? Cam Newton … oh, my bad. Wrong again.

  8. dalucks says: Nov 30, 2012 9:34 AM

    I think this is a little bit of overthinking and lowballing by a draft scout. If the Honey Badger is a 4th round pick then that means there are 10 to 15 better cornerbacks than him in the 2013 NFL draft. I guess we need the complete cornerback list to begin the real debate.
    I am not saying the Honey Badger is the next Darrell Revis but he is not a scrub either. He is a pretty good football player who smokes some marijuana and has made a few bad choices while in college. Honey badger does not have a huge character issue, he actually sounds like most people in the world during their late teens to early twenties.
    Most people want to know would I want him on my team and as a Texans fan I would say yes. He would be an upgrade over Alan Ball plus he could get additional help at the John Lucas Rehab Center, which is located in Houston.

  9. truefootballinsight says: Nov 30, 2012 9:34 AM

    4th? Wow. Must be a horrible class for DB’s. He wasn’t that good a cover corner in college. Has not played for a year, and smokes all the green. He’s a UDFA

  10. garywheeler84 says: Nov 30, 2012 9:36 AM

    Heisman Trophy runner up, a real impact defensive and special teams perfomer, a 4th round draft pick because he smoked pot in the past? Not a likely scenario…won’t last past round 2.

  11. abninf says: Nov 30, 2012 9:39 AM

    A 5’9″ cornerback with drug and likely mental problems? He has no place in the NFL.

  12. travishenryskid says: Nov 30, 2012 9:51 AM

    If the Pats pick him in round 2, everyone will call it the steal of the draft. If a bad team picks him in round 3, everyone will point out how much of a reach it was.

  13. bkostela says: Nov 30, 2012 9:51 AM

    smells more like undrafted to me

  14. bucrightoff says: Nov 30, 2012 10:20 AM

    4th round, 20th pick would be so outstanding

  15. cbraithwaite says: Nov 30, 2012 10:28 AM

    A quick, tough tackling CB whose main problems are the weed and not being good enough in coverage. Sounds to me that if you sort out problem a, his extra alertness might sort out problem b.

  16. Omar Nipper says: Nov 30, 2012 10:31 AM

    Another thing about his size is that college always inflates heights. Mathieu is listed at 5’9″, which could very easily be 5’7″ or 5’8″.
    Not sure I want to see him covering Megatron or Brandon Marshall.

  17. patsfan22 says: Nov 30, 2012 11:36 AM

    Well Aaron Hernandez went in the 4th because he had weed problems, so it’s definitely something GM’s look at.

  18. imaduffer says: Nov 30, 2012 12:46 PM

    I could see the Cowboys moving up in the draft to pick him.

  19. wlubake says: Nov 30, 2012 12:50 PM

    Size is a real problem, but the weed issue can be overlooked in Denver and Seattle now. He could be a Javier Arenas type player. He went at the end of the 2nd round. Add the risks, and 4th round seems about right.

  20. cowpiesnotcowboys says: Nov 30, 2012 6:01 PM

    He’s cowboys bound if he can keep his wonderlic score in the single digits.

  21. rajbais says: Nov 30, 2012 10:37 PM

    How did this guy ever get rated as a first-round pick? I am not rooting for him to fail or To be disadvantaged, but it seems like the people who get the first round rhetoric out into the public listen to the incorrect sources. I am no journalist, but if I wanted a realistic and objective opinion I would talk to at least four different franchise scouts. I say four because there are plenty of teams that have scouts in the four regions of the country: North, South, East, and West.

    I believe in asking scouts during the fall because general managers are not going to be as involved in the draft or the scouting process because they have so many things to deal with with their own franchises and the NFL during the regular season.

    I do not see this guy going anywhere earlier than the fifth round. It would not even surprise me if he went undrafted. I hate to see this happen to him, but his substance abuse issues from the past and possible football flaws likely make him less early round worthy than ever before. Right now he just needs to get his life on track and be worthy of being considered a roster worthy football player and a changed guy.

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