Tyrann Mathieu to Enter 2013 NFL Draft
A “source close” to Mathieu confirmed that the 2011 Heisman Trophy finalist will not attempt to finish his collegiate career, which likely would have been at the FCS level.
"I am sorry that I was not able to complete my journey at LSU, but I will always support LSU in any way I can. To my teammates, you are my brothers. You have kept me going. I will do my best to make you all proud of me," he said in a statement.
Mathieu was suspended for the entire 2012 season in August after failing a series of drug tests. He then forwent the opportunity to play at McNeese State to enroll into a rehab program, which he finished and eyed an LSU return for 2013.
However, the “Honey Badger” was arrested in October (along with three former teammates, including QB Jordan Jefferson) for having an excessive amount of marijuana in the backpack of his apartment, ending any chances of returning to the Tigers’ roster.
In addition, there was a report by Sports Illustrated that detailed how Mathieu received illegal benefits while at LSU by promoting a local club, allowing use of his image in flyers and online videos.
"I am committed to tackling my personal issues and will work to better myself every day as a man first and only then as a football player. I will always consider myself an LSU Tiger," he continued in his statement.
Mathieu has extraordinary talent and is known for his play-making abilities, which will undoubtedly appeal to some NFL scouts. But his lack of size (5-foot-9, 175 pounds) and inability to play man coverage—along with his extended absence from the field and drug abuse—will hurt his draft chances greatly.
When he was at his peak with LSU (in 2011), Mathieu was a mid-second, early third-round draft selection. But now that his background is so shaky, he’ll be lucky to go in the fourth or fifth round at best.
I wouldn’t even be surprised to see him drop to the seventh round, or not drafted at all, like this year’s Alfonzo Dennard and Vontaze Burfict, respectively. As I stated in a previous article, many scouts have already dubbed Mathieu “untouchable.”
NFL organizations aren’t overly concerned with marijuana abuse, as we’ve seen in recent past. But if a certain player reeks of suspension, they’ll be much more inclined to pass.
Mathieu will have to prove himself worthy of an NFL roster by April. He’ll obviously have to stay clean, while working on his strength and ball skills. If he can somehow find his way into February’s combine and have an impressive debut, the probability of improving his draft stock will increase dramatically (ex: Janoris Jenkins, Mike Adams).
Either way, I’m sure there’s always going to be someone willing to take a chance. It’s just a matter of if and when.
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