Patriots Draft Focus: “The Honey Badger” Tyrann Mathieu

Tyrann Mathieu is a corner back that played his college ball at LSU. Mathieu was such a play maker, and explosive talent that he was a Heisman candidate his Sophomore year. There are two big knacks on Mathieu and that is his size and his well documented, off the field issues. Before Mathieu’s 2012 season in August, he was dismissed from the team for reportedly failing drug testes repeatedly and then he was arrested in October for marijuana possession. Mathieu has not played padded football in almost two years so he will need to readjust to playing in pads and then adjust to the NFL size and speed. The last negative on Mathieu is his size at corner, he stands 5’9 and weighs in at 175 pounds, so his size isn’t prototypical of a corner. The National Championship Game against Alabama showed Mathieu had trouble going against the size of Alabama, and that is worrisome because the NFL has size everywhere with the speed.

Mathieu has upside though, he is a play maker, and although he lacks the size at corner, he is still great at covering and a turn over machine on defense. Mathieu in the NFL would be ideal being a slot corner, covering the smaller receivers, in that position he would be great, and give New England a huge asset in the secondary. Mathieu is an aggressive and physical corner, who plays with attitude and swagger, a much need attribute for New England’s secondary. Aside from providing New England with a slot corner, Mathieu could blitz from the corner position as well. He is an excellent blitzer, and could make plays by rushing the passer, something New England could use as well. Mathieu can bring many attributes for New England, he could be the slot corner, the corner blitzer, the play maker, and punt or kick returner. Mathieu is also a smart football player with great instincts, he can read the offense, and he makes plays on the ball by getting interceptions or causing fumbles. The Patriots have had success with players who were known as being problemtic on and off the field. Corey Dillon, and Randy Moss were known as that, and Aaron Hernandez had a failed drug test in College as well, and some scouts worried he would be an off the field issue kind of guy, turns out, he hasn’t been a problem at all, and the party guy is Rob Gronkowski. The Honey Badger will find leadership and discipline with the Patriots and his off the field problems shouldn’t worry New England for right now, they should look at his talent, take him on that, and help the young man to grow. He could be a late draft steal for the Patriots. I think Mathieu is on the Patriots radar considering in 2011, owner Robert Kraft was in West Virginia watching LSU play West Virginia, he would have seen Mathieu’s talent in person, much like he did with Brandon Spikes. For those of you who do not know, Robert Kraft attended the South Carolina game versus the Florida Gators that feature a Brandon Spikes interception return for TD in 2008, he also saw him play in the National Championship Game that same year. Both winning efforts on Spikes part.

Tyrann Mathieu College Stats:

2010(True Freshman): 57 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 2 interceptions, 5 forced fumbles, 8.5 tackles for loss 7 passes broken up.

In the Cotton Bowl alone, Mathieu had: 7 tackles, one tackle for loss, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, one sack, one interception, and one pass breakup.

2011: 76 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, 6 forced fumbles, 2 interceptions, 9 passes broken up. 2 punt return TD. 421 punt yards.

 


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