2013 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Tyrann Mathieu, CB, NCAA

by Cory J. Bonini on April 19, 2013 @ 13:02:53 PDT

 


Former LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu hopes shedding the "Honey Badger" moniker and image will help his chances in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Prior to being kicked off the team before the 2012 season, Mathieu was developing into one of the better defenders in the country. He played in all 13 games as a freshman, starting one, and showed a knack for dislodging the ball (five forced fumbles). He added two interceptions and 4.5 sacks. In 2011, Mathieu forced six fumbles, recovering five, and notched 70 tackles.

Tyrann Mathieu
Immense risk factor

Strengths

  • Plays much bigger than his stature
  • Dangerous punt returner
  • Ball hawk and has a nose for stripping the rock
  • Quick footwork in short space
  • Generally disciplined in his on-field responsibilities
  • Very good tackler for his size
  • Above-average awareness and instincts
  • Proved to be a quick study as a freshman
  • Considerable upside
  • Capable blitzer

Weaknesses

  • Size (5-foot-9, 186 pounds)
  • Major maturity and off-the-field concerns (kicked off the LSU team in 2012 for violation of team rules)
  • Overly aggressive - far too often bites on play fakes
  • Gambles too much in coverage
  • Average straight-line speed - could struggle to recover if beaten
  • Looks unnatural in transition in man coverage
  • Could be limited to slot coverage and zone defenses in the NFL
  • Sat out all of 2012

Expected draft placement

Mathieu's draft slotting really comes down to how well he interviewed and if he was able to convince a team to take an early chance on him. It seems likely that he will be an early third-day pick, but some team could opt for him in the waning stages of Day 2. It would be surprising if no one drafted him, however, but it remains a possibility.

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About Cory J. Bonini

Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.

Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.

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