Mathieu runs 4.47 forty, is 'focused' and 'locked in'
During his pre-combine workouts with Cardinals' cornerback (and former LSU teammate) Patrick Peterson, Mathieu reportedly ran a 4.47 forty-yard dash. Speed was one of the concerns scouts had with Mathieu, but if he can run that time at the combine, he should put those concerns to rest. Mathieu's 4.47 time was faster than cornerbacks Morris Claiborne and Dre Kirkpatrick, both of whom were first-round picks in the 2012 draft. Mathieu is also only .01 second behind Janoris Jenkins, who was selected in the second round due to similar marijuana-related issues.
There were plenty of concerns regarding whether or not Mathieu would be in shape after sitting out the 2012 season at LSU, but teams should have nothing to worry about. Peterson is reportedly working him hard and getting him prepared. A 5th overall pick himself, Peterson is probably a good trainer to have for pre-combine workouts.
"Patrick goes at him hard," Peterson's father, Patrick Peterson Sr., told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "He'll push him on the ground or whatever he's got to do to get Tyrann prepared.
"He's going to be good. He's going in strong. He's looking like Tyrann. He's staying away from the off-field stuff and he's focused. He looks like he means business, very locked in. He knows he can't get another strike. He's conformed to our rules, working out and trying to get better."
Mathieu has been living with Peterson's family in Florida since leaving LSU, in case you were wondering what Peterson Sr. meant by "our rules."
As I alluded to before, Mathieu isn't simply proving he's a better player, he's proving that he's a better person. He made himself available to NFL teams for interviews during Senior Bowl week, which he voluntarily attended. He has been taking regular drug tests from a certified clinic so he can prove that he's clean before the draft. He's even attempted to get rid of his "Honey Badger" nickname from his playing days at LSU.