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#756797 - 02/24/13 10:35 PM Tyrann Mathieu
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Tyrann Mathieu Profile

CBS.Sportsline Article
By Jeff Reynolds
NFLDraftScout.com
February 24, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS -- Tyrann Mathieu woke up Sunday at 4 a.m. for what he can only hope will be the first of many NFL drug tests.

Sunday's wake-up call, standard operating procedure at the NFL Scouting Combine regardless of a player's history, was but one of many direct reminders of the lengthy personal agenda Mathieu must navigate to earn his way into a league that considers him a white-hot risk because of a pattern of marijuana use.

Two years ago, he was known as the Honey Badger, a mighty mite playmaker who tackled with the force of a sledgehammer and was deployed as a defensive chess piece by LSU coaches who asked him to blitz regularly, play safety and cornerback and man the nickel role to shadow slot receivers. A Heisman Trophy finalist in 2011, Mathieu never made it back to the field for the Tigers. If he wants to play again after a series of professionally fatal missteps, he's facing an uphill climb.

"First of all, I want them to be able to trust me," Mathieu said of what he needs to show coaches and scouts. "I hold myself accountable for everything I've done this past year.

"I'm not totally asking them to trust me right now, but what I am asking is for them to give me a chance. I've had a lot of time to reflect on it."

Mathieu is at the combine seeking another second chance. He reportedly failed multiple drug tests and was finally kicked off the team and out of the university in Baton Rouge in August.

"All the things that I put before football are really not fun without football," he said.

At 5-foot-9, there are questions about how his skill set might translate to the NFL level -- particularly tracking a tight end like 6-foot-6 Rob Gronkowski down the seam as a safety or lining up opposite man-sized pro receivers such as 6-foot-5, 235-pound Calvin Johnson or 6-foot-4, 230-pound Brandon Marshall or 6-foot-5 Vincent Jackson -- and what position suits him best.

This week, teams have held mostly informal discussions with him and will have keen interest in evaluating whether Mathieu accumulated rust in his year away from the field. While he said he continued field work and position-specific training with the NFL in mind, the emphasis was on his participation in counseling after rehab. Mathieu maintains close contact with his sponsor.

But his primary support system beyond the sponsor and his adoptive parents are NFL players and LSU products like Patrick Peterson of the Arizona Cardinals and Corey Webster of the Giants. They are driving Mathieu to focus on his goal. Admittedly, it was allowing himself to mind praise from fans and media that contributed to him veering toward drugs.

"I think half of it is you actually start believing the hype -- the newspaper clippings," Mathieu said. "The other half of it is, ‘Hey, I'm young and want to have some fun.'"

It won't be easy to convince general managers to trust him. When teams sit face-to-face with Mathieu, they will grill him with a purpose, asking why he chose drugs over his teammates and bluntly investigating whether he'll ever be dedicated to being a professional.

The failed drug tests at LSU led to Mathieu's dismissal. He thought he'd bottomed out personally. Mathieu considered enrolling at an FCS school to play in 2012, but opted against it, feeling he had personal -- not professional -- goals to prioritize.

But he couldn't quit smoking marijuana and was arrested in October. That was the last time -- Oct. 26, 2012 -- he used.

"I thought my bottom was when I got kicked out of school, but when I got arrested in October, I found a new bottom," he said.

Not even four months have passed and that recent hurdle is a reason Mathieu said he "doesn't want to be a hypocrite" and talk to young people about the pratfalls of smoking. The question of whether NFL executives can begin to trust Mathieu to walk the straight and narrow while cashing paychecks that take him from unemployed to millionaire is a layered discussion all scouting departments must undertake.

"I know there's marijuana in the NFL, I know there's marijuana everywhere you go," said Mathieu. "But at the end of the day, none of those people are Tyrann Mathieu."

He said he understands he likely lost millions, but isn't thinking about money or blown opportunities.

It is likely several teams won't post Mathieu on their draft boards -- effectively marking him undraftable. But he needs only glance at another SEC cornerback with a smoking history, Janoris Jenkins, to understand that 32 general managers don't have to be convinced Mathieu is worth the risk -- just one. The Rams took a chance in the second round on Jenkins, who was kicked off the team at Florida and spent his senior season at North Alabama, and he rewarded them with an all-rookie season at cornerback in 2012.

Can he be trusted? Mathieu, who earned the Honey Badger nickname for perpetually being in attack mode, gave an emphatic yes.

"Because I've been through it," he said. "I know what it's like not to have football. I know what it's like not to be the center of attention. I know what it's like to be humiliated. To go back down that road -- not a chance in this world.

"My best friend right now is honesty. I want to be as open as possible. I'm trying to rebuild my trust. I want those guys to hold me accountable."

Mathieu believes his numbers from the cornerback tests should be the start to rebuilding his football resume. He said he was recently timed running the 40 in 4.4 seconds and has plenty of game film for teams to review and evaluate him as the versatile, dynamic player who earned the Honey Badger moniker.

"I started out at safety, I played nickel basically my whole career and I was a starting cornerback on the depth chart," he said. "It doesn't matter what position I play, I can pretty much play all of them."

As a repeat offender, Mathieu would enter the NFL in the league's substance abuse program. His past won't be forgotten, but perhaps forgiven. But his next second chance is likely to be his last.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Long article for a very basic question: Would you draft him and in what round?

I would. I would jump for joy if he dropped to the 6th round. I don't think I'd take him at the top of the 5th though. Your thoughts?
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#756798 - 02/24/13 11:21 PM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: Punchsmack]
candyman92 Offline

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5th round Free Safety.

I don't like his size but he creates turnovers like Charles Tillman
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#756799 - 02/24/13 11:42 PM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: Punchsmack]
YTownBrownsFan Online   confused

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7th. Size plus drug concerns make me pass on him before then .... even with his talent.
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#756800 - 02/25/13 12:21 AM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: YTownBrownsFan]
Paco Offline

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he got caught smoking weed. He's in college... nuff said

If he was dealing or doing more illicit drugs I would have an issue. But the kid did put himself into rehab with no outside pressure. I dont care for his personality but he's a good talent.

4th rd.

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#756801 - 02/25/13 12:48 AM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: Paco]
YTownBrownsFan Online   confused

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He got caught smoking weed in college ..... repeatedly. He got thrown out of college because of all of the failed tests, plus a pot arrest .... after he went through drug rehab.

He may have learned his lesson ..... but he has had a lot of trouble with pot in the recent past. He could be a new man ...... or he could be a drug suspension waiting to happen.
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#756802 - 02/25/13 08:42 AM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: Punchsmack]
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Quote:

As a repeat offender, Mathieu would enter the NFL in the league's substance abuse program. His past won't be forgotten, but perhaps forgiven. But his next second chance is likely to be his last.




this cannot be true. or, perhaps he enters the program "voluntarily", but I cannot believe the NFLPA would allow his past transgressions actually count against him at the NFL level (affecting what happens on his next offense, etc.).
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#756803 - 02/25/13 09:00 AM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: Punchsmack]
Kingcob Offline

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Once you enter into the 5th round your chances of finding a starter greatly diminish. (Marecic and Cameron were 4th rounders).

I don't know enough to evaluate Mr. Badger as a player. Considering he was a Heisman candidate I don't see much reason to not put him in as a candidate for the 4th round. Pot smokers aren't very scary to me, but I would want to know if he can play at an NFL level considering his height. Considering the dearth of safety talent I wouldn't mind plugging him in at free safety if possible.

Skrine was a 5th rounder and according to wiki is 5'10''.

Quote:

"I don't think he's going to run better than the 4.5 or 4.55," Mayock continued. "If he does, that will help him. So most teams that I've talked to have him more in the fourth round because they don't think he's very big and he's not going to run very fast, and he's had off-the-field issues. That could change with a good time, but he's an intriguing guy."



CBS


Edited by Kingcob (02/25/13 09:05 AM)

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#756804 - 02/25/13 11:22 AM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: Kingcob]
oobernoober Offline

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Depending on where he goes, I wouldn't mind making him our latest FS project.
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#756805 - 02/25/13 12:41 PM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: Punchsmack]
Bard Dawg Offline

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I could trust him a great deal more on the PS with the repeats of his pot issues. Trust him later, but on the cheap, if he is a changed man, welcome aboard. But I do not see us rolling the dice on a starter here at all.. Too many "bottoms" that seem to surprise him when he actually thinks about consequences that have been forced upon him. Wish him the best, but not until later.
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#756806 - 02/25/13 01:29 PM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: YTownBrownsFan]
BADdog Offline

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Lombardi will take him with our 1st pick
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#756807 - 02/25/13 03:51 PM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: BADdog]
Punchsmack Offline

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Quote:

Lombardi will take him with our 1st pick




I know that was a joke but it brings up an odd question. If everyone knew what Cribss and Hester would become, where would they be drafted?

Hester is a one-dimensional WR and an all-world, all-time great returner.
Cribbs is a better WR than Hester, not by much, and is close to Hester's all-world status as a returner.

Hester went in the 2nd round (pick 57).
Cribbs went undrafted.

Would they have gone in the 1st round? How valuable would a great returner be if you knew their impact?

I like questions like this because I giggle at the comments of how "person X is a FS, you don't draft one of those in the top 5". But if that FS is going to the Pro Bowl 9 times in the next 10 years, you'd take him in the top 5. Talent is talent, right?
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#756808 - 02/25/13 04:26 PM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: Punchsmack]
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My opinion is that neither would be a first rounder. I'd guess Hester's draft position would not have improved had they known how he turned out as both a returner and WR, probably would have been worse to 3rd or possibly 4th round.

Cribbs, well, I'd say the way he turned out, he'd be a 3rd, possibly 4th rounder if the NFL knew how he turned out as a returner, WR, and wildcat.

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#756809 - 02/25/13 05:08 PM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: no_logo_required]
PDR Offline

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Quote:

Quote:

As a repeat offender, Mathieu would enter the NFL in the league's substance abuse program. His past won't be forgotten, but perhaps forgiven. But his next second chance is likely to be his last.




this cannot be true. or, perhaps he enters the program "voluntarily", but I cannot believe the NFLPA would allow his past transgressions actually count against him at the NFL level (affecting what happens on his next offense, etc.).




I'm pretty sure a few rookies have had to start out in the program.

And the NFL now does punish people for NCAA transgressions. Look at Pryor.

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#756810 - 02/25/13 05:14 PM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: PDR]
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Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

As a repeat offender, Mathieu would enter the NFL in the league's substance abuse program. His past won't be forgotten, but perhaps forgiven. But his next second chance is likely to be his last.




this cannot be true. or, perhaps he enters the program "voluntarily", but I cannot believe the NFLPA would allow his past transgressions actually count against him at the NFL level (affecting what happens on his next offense, etc.).




I'm pretty sure a few rookies have had to start out in the program.

And the NFL now does punish people for NCAA transgressions. Look at Pryor.




Pryor was an extreme case and it was controversial. That is why I am pretty sure that the NFL cannot treat most college kids transgressions before the NFL as NFL offenses.

The NFL basically made the 5 game suspension part of the way they accepted him into the supplemental draft. I think if the NFLPA would have fought this properly, then they would have won.

http://espn.go.com/espn/commentary/story/_/id/6874169/terrelle-pryor-suspension-nfl-ncaa-merger

Quote:


Pryor, the former Ohio State quarterback, is believed to be the first employee in history to be punished before being hired. He will, however, be eligible for Monday's supplemental draft. If he is chosen -- and follow along closely, because this gets confusing -- he will be allowed to complete training camp with his new team but will then be suspended for five games without pay. During that time, he will not be allowed to practice.


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#756811 - 02/25/13 05:25 PM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: no_logo_required]
Sheppard1972 Offline

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What worries me about this is didn't the Browns take a player last year that was in trouble over his "POT" smoking? Putting to many like minded people around each other creates a mentality that my not be wanted by the Browns or their fans. I loved his talent but he has shown he will run in a click and said click is one I think the Browns and current player on the roster don't need. You would love to have every talented player on your roster but lockerroom does matter so I would worry if he came here.

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#756812 - 02/25/13 05:58 PM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: Sheppard1972]
Ballpeen Offline

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Two years ago I wanted the Honey Badger with our first pick. Now, maybe the 4th.

If he truly has it turned around, he is going to be a steal in rounds 2-3.....a good team can take a chance on the guy. I don't think we can, but no doubt, the guy is a game changer. A bit small, but he stays close enough to receivers that QB's have to make perfect throws, and even then he is adept at stripping the ball.


Not to mention he is a heck of a special teams guy. Might very well be the best college punt returner I have ever seen. His ability to return punts will win the team that takes him 2-3 games a year. Either by a full return or a return or two that flips the field in a hurry.
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#756813 - 02/25/13 07:20 PM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: Ballpeen]
E.Ryze19 Offline

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I'd take him anywhere after the second round. The guy has enormous talent, and IMO is worth a later round pick. I would love to see him returning punts in an orange helmet. The kid is a world class player if he can stay clean.
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#756814 - 02/26/13 01:49 AM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: E.Ryze19]
SaintDawg Offline

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Hmmph.. a smurf with a drug problem.. no thanks.
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#756815 - 02/26/13 02:03 AM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: SaintDawg]
Mourgrym Offline

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Hell I feel much better about spending a 3rd on Mathieu than I did when we spent a 2nd on Gordon. Plus the way we waste 3rds on turds, might as well waste it on a turd with talent this time around.

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#756816 - 02/26/13 10:36 AM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: Mourgrym]
1oldMutt Offline

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Quote:

Hell I feel much better about spending a 3rd on Mathieu than I did when we spent a 2nd on Gordon. Plus the way we waste 3rds on turds, might as well waste it on a turd with talent this time around.




He's also the best looking DB at the combine at the moment.
Milliner, on the other hand cant catch a ball.

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#756817 - 02/26/13 10:53 AM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: 1oldMutt]
Ballpeen Offline

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Quote:

Quote:

Hell I feel much better about spending a 3rd on Mathieu than I did when we spent a 2nd on Gordon. Plus the way we waste 3rds on turds, might as well waste it on a turd with talent this time around.




He's also the best looking DB at the combine at the moment.
Milliner, on the other hand cant catch a ball.





At least that isn't what a team will be paying him to do.
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#756818 - 02/26/13 10:57 AM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: Ballpeen]
clevesteve Offline

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Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Hell I feel much better about spending a 3rd on Mathieu than I did when we spent a 2nd on Gordon. Plus the way we waste 3rds on turds, might as well waste it on a turd with talent this time around.




He's also the best looking DB at the combine at the moment.
Milliner, on the other hand cant catch a ball.





At least that isn't what a team will be paying him to do.




yep. i don't care. the guy he's covering isn't catching the ball,either.

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#756819 - 02/26/13 11:00 AM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: clevesteve]
1oldMutt Offline

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Yeah, I'd draft him anyway but a turnover is a turnover.

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#756820 - 02/26/13 12:02 PM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: 1oldMutt]
no_logo_required Offline

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Quote:

Yeah, I'd draft him anyway but a turnover is a turnover.




he'll just tip it over to a defensive teammate
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#756821 - 02/26/13 01:28 PM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: YTownBrownsFan]
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Quote:

He got caught smoking weed in college ..... repeatedly. He got thrown out of college because of all of the failed tests, plus a pot arrest .... after he went through drug rehab.

He may have learned his lesson ..... but he has had a lot of trouble with pot in the recent past. He could be a new man ...... or he could be a drug suspension waiting to happen.



I agree. He had a very troubled upbringing by grandparents and aunts and uncles who, by all accounts, seemed to try very hard... but if he got into that much trouble and made that many bad decisions as a broke college kid, what's he going to be like with a significant amount of money at his disposal?

As a person I seriously hope the kid turns it around and makes a solid career and life for himself.. but if I made decisions for the Cleveland Browns I wouldn't be willing to risk a very high pick or a whole lot of money on that happening.
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#756822 - 02/26/13 07:17 PM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: Punchsmack]
Browns26 Offline

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If he is there in the 3rd round I hope we take him. His potential is like Janoris Jenkins picked by the Rams last year. Jenkins had off the field issues so he slipped to the second. Last year he had 4 INTS and 4 defensive TDs. Mathieu could bring the same to Cleveland. I think he will get picked in the 2nd though

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#756823 - 03/01/13 09:23 PM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: Browns26]
CHSDawg Offline
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4th round. Easy. Exactly what Horton wants.
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#756824 - 03/01/13 09:51 PM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: no_logo_required]
kingodawg Offline

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Quote:

Quote:

As a repeat offender, Mathieu would enter the NFL in the league's substance abuse program. His past won't be forgotten, but perhaps forgiven. But his next second chance is likely to be his last.




this cannot be true. or, perhaps he enters the program "voluntarily", but I cannot believe the NFLPA would allow his past transgressions actually count against him at the NFL level (affecting what happens on his next offense, etc.).




When you have a past fail in the NCAA that counts as your first strike in the NFL. The first strike is the silent one. When you hear about a guy getting suspended for drugs, that is actually his second fail.

An example for the Browns was William Green, he was on first strike probation when he came to us.

KING
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#756825 - 03/02/13 12:57 PM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: Browns26]
Browns Lifer Offline

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Quote:

If he is there in the 3rd round I hope we take him. His potential is like Janoris Jenkins picked by the Rams last year. Jenkins had off the field issues so he slipped to the second. Last year he had 4 INTS and 4 defensive TDs. Mathieu could bring the same to Cleveland. I think he will get picked in the 2nd though




Maybe I'm mistaken, but isn't this guy tiny? If he isn't a huge upgrade over Skrine, I don't see the point in taking him. Anywhere in the draft.
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#756826 - 03/02/13 01:18 PM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: Browns Lifer]
YTownBrownsFan Online   confused

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He's short, but a pretty solid hitter/tackler. He just hadn't been able to discipline himself to stay away from the weed.

That being said ..... he is a "little guy who will hit" ......... and could probably become a solid FS type in the NFL .... if he is willing to devote himself, and stay away from the damned weed.
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#756827 - 03/02/13 01:20 PM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: Browns Lifer]
Penny Offline

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I love this kid and think he will be a Ed Reed clone at the next level.

I think his risk/reward is well worth a 3rd round selection.

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#756828 - 03/02/13 02:36 PM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: Penny]
PastorMarc Offline

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I would not hesitate picking him in the 3-4 round area, this kid is a hard nosed football player and thats exactly what we need... JMHO
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#756829 - 03/02/13 06:27 PM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: PastorMarc]
ThatGuy Offline

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As long as he and Haden are prohibited from going to Vegas together...
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#756830 - 03/02/13 07:40 PM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: ThatGuy]
PastorMarc Offline

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Amen
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#756831 - 03/02/13 08:07 PM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: Browns Lifer]
bbrowns32 Offline

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I believe he was a touch under 5' 9" at the combine. Too small for me unless it's the 5th or 6th round...
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#756832 - 03/02/13 08:12 PM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: bbrowns32]
CHSDawg Offline
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Quote:

I believe he was a touch under 5' 9" at the combine. Too small for me unless it's the 5th or 6th round...




5'9 on the button.
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#756833 - 03/02/13 08:15 PM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: CHSDawg]
PastorMarc Offline

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Quote:

Quote:

I believe he was a touch under 5' 9" at the combine. Too small for me unless it's the 5th or 6th round...




5'9 on the button.




Frank Minnifield was 5'9" un the button also
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#756834 - 03/03/13 03:11 PM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: PastorMarc]
Paco Offline

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Minnifield had a 42" vertical

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#756835 - 03/04/13 01:23 PM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: Punchsmack]
DFbrowns44 Offline

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I don't touch this kid with a ten foot pole. Even if he was squeaky clean he is nothing more then a nickel back, IMO. He's a 5'-9" 185lb corner that runs just O.K.. He never really was a consistent performer at LSU. He did have some nice splash type plays, but that's all. He can return punts, I'll give him that.
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#756836 - 03/04/13 02:53 PM Re: Tyrann Mathieu [Re: DFbrowns44]
Penny Offline

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Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 181
Loc: Denver, CO
Quote:

I don't touch this kid with a ten foot pole. Even if he was squeaky clean he is nothing more then a nickel back, IMO. He's a 5'-9" 185lb corner that runs just O.K.. He never really was a consistent performer at LSU. He did have some nice splash type plays, but that's all. He can return punts, I'll give him that.




I think you may be underrating him by saying he was never a consistent performer. He was consistent enough to be a Heisman finalist as a defensive player. He made plays all over the field at LSU against top talent.

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