Draft Scout Snapshot: A closer look at the Cardinals' picks: Round 3/69 - Tyrann Mathieu, FS, 5-9, 186, Louisiana State...The Cardinals gambled here. Mathieu has a history of troubles, mostly with marijuana. The Cardinals think Mathieu is sincere about changing his life, and they expect his former LSU teammate, Patrick Peterson, to be a mentor. Mathieu will start his NFL career as a free safety. He doesn't have ideal speed for cornerback, and playing safety will give him a chance to roam the field and make plays on the ball, his strength. He also will return punts, along with Peterson. QUOTE TO NOTE: "I couldn't think of a better team to go to. I spent so much time out there with Patrick, that became sort of like my second home. The whole time, I was telling myself, 'don't cry.' I know I'm on the right track." -- Defensive back Tyrann Mathieu. - The Sports Xchange
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02/20/13 - 2013 NFL Combine, Next question: It is hard to say if Tyrann Mathieu was rooting for Notre Dame against the rival Alabama Crimson Tide in the BCS title game but it is a pretty fair assumption that the former LSU star is thankful for the Manti Te'o "stealing" the media spotlight.
Having failed multiple drug tests while at LSU, Mathieu was released from scholarship and allowed to consider transferring elsewhere before he ultimately decided to sit out the season and enter the draft early. As such, teams will want to know how he spent his year off the field. How well the Honey Badger is able to convince teams that he'll be able to keep his paws clean from here on out could determine whether he's selected on the second day, midway through the third or drafted at all. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
02/20/13 - Top 10 most intriguing players at the combine: 1. Tyrann Mathieu, LSU, DB-KR: Teams that scouted LSU pegged Mathieu as a SAM linebacker more than anything else because of the way that the Tigers used him. He's also a dynamic return man, averaging almost 16 yards a punt return. Watch the tape of him from late during his freshman year or in 2011, and he seems to be playing at a different speed than everyone else on the field -- at the highest level of college football.
It'll be interesting to see how he tests. He's one of those guys who plays much faster than he has been timed. (Tennessee once opted for another short DB, Nickell Robey, over Mathieu in large part because of the Louisiana native's underwhelming 40-time at the Vols' summer camp.) The 20-year-old's probably more suited to safety although he doesn't have the heft to hold up to be an every-down player, but we've seen enough of him to think he still could be a difference-maker in the right situation if he can handle things off the field. - Bruce Feldman, CBSSports.com
02/20/13 - Top 10 most intriguing players at the combine: 1. Tyrann Mathieu, LSU, DB-KR: The guy formerly known as the "Honey Badger" almost won the Heisman in 2011 but then had all sorts of off-field problems and missed the 2012 season. Mathieu's lack of size (5-foot-8, 180 pounds) was always going to be a concern for most folks. Now you factor in some character question marks, and you have a prospect who probably doesn't go in the first 100 picks.
He'd be a small corner, but skill-wise, he's not really a pure cover man. But he is super quick and instinctive. Above all, Mathieu is fearless with an uncanny knack for making big plays, whether those are picks, forced fumbles or sacks. In 26 games at LSU, he created an astounding 14 turnovers, and that was in his first two seasons in the program -- a time when few blue-chippers at LSU are even on the two-deep. - Bruce Feldman, CBSSports.com
02/20/13 - 2013 NFL Combine, 10 players to watch: 3. DB Tyrann Mathieu, LSU...Without the off-field concerns, Mathieu has the playmaking skills to be a first-round pick. However, after his dismissal from LSU and a laundry list of off-field issues, his draft stock is a mystery and scouts are going to put him under a microscope this week. Mathieu also hasn't played organized football in more than a year, so his physical condition will be scrutinized as well. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
01/23/13 - Former Heisman Trophy candidate and college All-American Tyrann Mathieu has met with "several" teams during this week's Senior Bowl, according to a report in the New York Post. The cornerback and kick-returner has reportedly met with the Jets, Redskins and Dolphins, among others. Mathieu -- or, "Honey Badger," as he came to be known -- was kicked off of LSU's team and didn't play in the 2012 season. He's in Alabama hoping to meet with teams and rebuild his image. Mathieu's reputation has been damaged by drug use and a recent arrest.
"They have every right to [be skeptical]," Mathieu said Monday of the teams he's met with. "I'm not really looking forward to people trusting me today or tomorrow. Trust takes time, especially when you've done a lot of things for people not to be able to trust you. It may take two years. It may take five years, it may take until I'm 30 years old for people to start trusting Tyrann again. But the truth is, I'm doing the right things and just looking forward to being a football player."
A few NFL players have taken Mathieu under their wing, including Cardinals cornerback and former LSU teammate Patrick Peterson, Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis and Giants cornerback Corey Webster - also a former LSU star.
Mathieu says he's committed to a return, no matter where that may be. "This is my last shot," he said. "You've got to learn when to do things and when not to do things; when to party and when not to party. Every day is football. That's the biggest thing I got out of it. I'm just ready to live a football life." - Evan Hilbert, CBSSports.com
11/29/12 - Former LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu plans to declare himself eligible for the next NFL draft, a source close to the player told ESPN.com. The Heisman Trophy finalist was suspended and fast-rising NFL prospect was suspended for this season after failing an August drug test, and entered a treatment program. He was arrested last month with three former teammates on a possession of marijuana charge. Mathieu and Jordan Jefferson were later released.
In a Baton Rouge police report, officers said they were responding to a complaint about a man trying to force his way through a security gate at the apartment complex where Mathieu lives. A resident let in the man, later identified as Jefferson. He was seen going into an apartment before officers arrived. Police said Mathieu answered the door and officers obtained permission to search after smelling marijuana. Officers found a marijuana grinder, digital scale and 10 bags of high-grade marijuana, police wrote in a news release.
Rather than play at lower-division school, Mathieu re-enrolled at LSU but didn't play football. NFLDraftScout.com had projected him as a top-40 pick before his suspension. His value will depend on how teams judge his explanation of his off-field missteps. - The Sports Xchange
11/29/12 - He has been involved with multiple drug incidents and completed a rehab stint with former NBA player John Lucas, who battled his own drug addiction in the past. Mathieu was also accused of promoting parties at a local night club through videos and fliers, potential NCAA violations.
Trouble seems to follow Mathieu, but the NFL has numerous examples of players who were red-flagged during the draft process for nonfootball concerns and went on to be contributors at the next level. St. Louis Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins was arguably the best defensive back in this past April's NFL Draft, but he slipped to the second round because of several drug-related occurrences. Jenkins has 47 tackles and three interceptions as a rookie and was recently named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week after he intercepted two passes last week at Arizona, returning both for touchdowns.
While somewhat similar, Mathieu's situation is also different. After his dismissal from Florida, Jenkins transferred to the FCS-level for his senior season and also participated in the Senior Bowl. Mathieu hasn't played football since last year's BCS national title game and, as an underclassman, won't have the opportunity to play in any predraft all-star games.
It's likely that Mathieu will be taken off some team's draft boards, but if a team feels comfortable with his character and past transgressions, the talent will be tough to pass up in the middle rounds. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
11/29/12 - According to a report by ESPN.com, former LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu will make himself eligible for the 2013 NFL Draft. Nicknamed the Honey Badger for his play on the field, Mathieu was dismissed from the LSU football program in August after multiple failed drug tests and checked into a drug and alcohol recovery center in Houston. This past October, he was arrested, along with three former LSU football players, after police found drug-related materials in Mathieu's apartment, including 10 bags of high-grade marijuana. According to reports, Mathieu was expected to re-enroll at LSU for his senior season, but his latest arrest made that possibility unlikely.
A Heisman Trophy finalist last season, Mathieu was projected as a top-32 pick this summer based on his play over his first two seasons in Baton Rouge. Although he doesn't have ideal size or speed, he showed a knack for the big play with 20 passes defended, 11 forced fumbles and four interceptions over his career, covering the entire field and always seeming to be around the ball. Mathieu doesn't have the ideal traits of a NFL cornerback, but he is best suited to play a hybrid nickel role where he can line up all over the field, covering both the run and pass. He might not fit the traditional mold, but he has a versatile skillset that makes him a unique blend of several positions, including linebacker, safety and cornerback. However the character and off-field concerns will push Mathieu's draft value out of the first round and possibly out of the top-100 picks altogether. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
10/27/12 - Former LSU players Tyrann Mathieu and Jordan Jefferson were released from a Baton Rouge, La., jail Friday after being arrested on marijuana charges, according to ESPN.com. Mathieu, Jefferson and two other former Tigers were arrested at Mathieu's apartment Thursday. Derrick Bryant and Karnell Hatcher remained in jail. Mathieu, Jefferson and Hatcher were charged with simple possession of marijuana. Hatcher's charge was for a second offense. Bryant was charged with an intent to distribute. Mathieu, a one-time Heisman Trophy finalist at cornerback, was dismissed from the team in August after he reportedly failed a drug test. Jefferson, a quarterback, is playing in the Canadian Football League. Jefferson's father, John Jefferson, told the New Orleans Times-Picayune on Friday that his son is innocent because he arrived at the apartment just 10 minutes before police got there. "He was in the wrong place at the wrong time," John Jefferson said. "The lawyer looked at it, and it looks like he didn't have any involvement with it. "He's upset about it, but live and learn." Baton Rouge police said the arrests came after officers responded to a complaint about a man trying to force his way through a security gate at the apartment complex where Mathieu lives. A resident let in the man, later identified as Jefferson. He was seen going into an apartment before officers arrived. Police said Mathieu answered the door and officers obtained permission to search after smelling marijuana. Officers found a marijuana grinder, digital scale and 10 bags of high-grade marijuana, police wrote in a news release. - The Sports Xchange
10/26/12 - Former LSU football standouts Tyrann Mathieu and Jordan Jefferson have been released from a Baton Rouge jail after their arrests on marijuana charges. Mathieu, who was a one-time Heisman Trophy finalist, played cornerback until he was dismissed from the team in August after reportedly failing a drug test. Quarterback Jefferson has been playing in the Canadian Football League. They were both released from jail early Friday, along with Derrick Bryant, a former backup safety. A fourth former player arrested in the case, Karnell Hatcher, remained in jail. Police say the 20-year-old Mathieu and 22-year-old Jefferson were booked Thursday on charges of simple possession of marijuana. Hatcher was booked with second-offense simple possession of marijuana and Bryant was booked with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. - AP Sports