The fiery but diminutive Tyrann Mathieu is an intriguing draft day name. If he had things his way, he'd answer an important April phone call from 49ers GM Trent Baalke. The man called the "Honey Badger," while waiting for his baggage at LAX, was interviewed by TMZ and had an interesting answer when asked who he would like to be drafted by.
"It'd have to be the 49ers, just as a fan," said Mathieu. "They got a pretty good organization and they got a pretty good dynasty that they're trying to pursue."
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CB Tryann Mathieu Draft Capsule, courtesy CSNChicago.com's Scott Krinch:
Tyrann Mathieu (CB), LSU
5-9 | 186 lbs.
76 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 9 PD, 2 INT, 6 FF, 5 FR, 2 TD
Doesn't back down from any physical challenges and plays much bigger than his 5'9 frame. Very good instincts and always finds himself in the right place with the ability to make a play on the ball. A turnover machine with the knack for jarring the ball loose from his opponents. Times his jump perfectly and fights for the ball while in the air. Explosive returner with the agility to make defenders miss, a threat to score almost every time he touches the ball. Played some of his best games in college against elite competition.
Was dismissed from LSU after substance abuse problems. Arrested following his college career and spent time in a rehab facility. Those issues will be a key factor in determining if the "Honey Badger" is worth the risk. His diminutive size brings up the question if he will be able to cover bigger wideouts at the next level. Trusts his instincts too much which causes him to be out of position at times. Took too many chances fielding a punt from inside the 10-yard line at LSU.
Fit for the NFL:
Mathieu may be the most intriguing prospect in the 2013 NFL Draft. He was a Heisman candidate at LSU before getting dismissed because of substance abuse problems. There's no doubt the artist formerly known as the "Honey Badger" is an impact player when on the field. He could become the biggest steal in the Draft or fade into obscurity after a couple years in the NFL.