Tyrann Mathieu   CB   LSU

TALENT BOARD ROUND  2

 

STRENGTHS

Tyrann might be one of the most instinctive players in this draft.  He has the overall athleticism that is needed to play multiple positions for your defensive backfield.  He is very smart and reads quarterbacks like a woman stalking a shoe salesman to anticipate the next sale on "the" shoes she has been eyeing for the last few months.  He has quick feet and a burst to the play.  He tackles and hits with the force of a linebacker.  He is a sure tackler, which means he can play safety or corner because his cover skills and zone skills are excellent.  Tyrann has the ability to play the slot and cover those pesky slot receivers that cause teams so many problems in coverage.  He also has the talent to impact for you on special teams the day after you draft him because he will be excellent at covering and returning punts.  Tyrann has the athletic ability, football intelligence and street smarts of a Darrell Green, the instincts and disruptive skills of a Troy Polamalu and the tackling abilities equal to Antoine Winfield.  He has the unique maturity on the field to turn the page when he gets beat and look for the next opportunity to make a big play. He has top ten playmaking abilities and will impact right away for the team that drafts him.  He will become a fan favorite and is the type of player you can build your defensive backfield and special teams units around.  Tyrann exhibits leadership skills on the field and, if he has his off field issues under control, then drafting him should be a no-brainer.

 

CONCERNS

Tyrann is vertically challenged and his overall athletic talent is not any more unique than players who are bigger and just as fast as he is.  The difference is in how Tyrann plays the game of football compared to others. His off field issues will be an issue for some teams, but for me, the fact that he stayed at LSU and did not go to another college to play when he got suspended for a full season tells me something about his character and what kind of potential this kid has.  Tyrann has not played football for a whole season and it seems like he feels playing at the college level to redeem himself in other people's eyes just might be a fruitless task.  Therefore, he has turned the page and is ready to move on.  That shows a unique maturity that you don't see in most players his age coming out in the draft.  Tyrann has stepped up, gotten help and has completed the first chance for him to change the decision making in his personal life.  I see no reason not to give him a second chance to continue on that path.    

 

BOTTOM LINE

Don't get me wrong: Tyrann hasn't changed.  He is still has the $100 haircut and the sparkly gold spikes.  He still wants to stand out and be the best player on the field.  He has said publicly that Honey Badger is gone, which is a good thing because it means that he has learned to turn the page in his personal life.  Tyrann has learned the hard way how to handle success.  He has never had a problem handling adversity, but now he is showing the maturity to handle both.  That's big.  The question is: Do you trust him to continue to march down this path of maturity off the field?  I don't have the answer to that question, but I can tell you this -- he has matured and in the future he will be a lot more guarded about what he does in his personal life.  You don't want to take the "show" out of this kid's game completely and keeping the haircut and sparkly gold spikes sends a signal that Tyrann will not allow his personality to be dictated by others' opinions.  Ending the Honey Badger moniker also sends a signal that he realizes that a portion of his personal life, the part that got him in trouble off the field, needs to be dropped completely.  There are two issues that make Tyrann a wild card as to what round he will be selected in:  his lack of height and his off field issues.  But, there will be no question about his ability to impact at the next level, that I can say with certainty.  Like I said, Tyrann has Darrell Greene like athleticism and Troy Polamalu instincts and the tackling skills equal to Antoine Winfield.  He has shown that he has matured, has worked through his issues and hopefully has turned the page.  Therefore, I see no reason not to consider selecting Tyrann at some point in this draft. I would draft Tyrann in the second round because he is a playmaker and you can never have too many playmakers.  I suspect that Tyrann will not be drafted until the 4th round because of his size, the off-field issues and because most teams will feel that he is a specialty player and not a starting player.  I just think once you draft him, he will outplay the other players and show the instincts to be a full time player for your defense and special teams because Tyrann has top ten playmaking abilities. 

 

Drew "The B.S. Detector" Boylhart

Mar/2013