Skip to main content

Tyrann Mathieu aka Honey Badger Enters Rehab; How Will this Impact His NFL Draft Stock?

The Honey Badger is a Tiger no more. After reportedly violating LSU’s drug policy multiple times, Tyrann Mathieu was booted from the team, has checked into a rehabilitation center and is (hopefully) getting clean. So how will it affect his draft stock?

Mathieu is difficult enough to evaluate with his on-the-field play. He’s smaller than average, even for a cornerback, and he doesn’t translate as an on-the-island, man-to-man corner that the NFL craves. However, he’s a playmaker. He has a nose for the ball and is capable of changing the course of a game at any moment. He was also a Heisman Trophy finalist and the winner of the Bednarik Award, as the nation’s best defensive player last year.

Add to that mix the drug issue, and you’ve got a recipe for uncertainty.

Looking back to April’s NFL draft, however, we may be able to find some clues to Mathieu’s future. A former Florida player with similar off-the-field issues was forced to transfer to an FCS school – Janoris Jenkins, also a cornerback. Jenkins is distinguishable, though, in that he also fathered multiple children with different women – a character issue that goes beyond mere drug use. Jenkins, a clear first-round talent according to experts, is also a more traditional-style corner.

The St. Louis Rams agreed to a four-year deal with Jenkins after drafting him in the early part of the second round. On the field, Mathieu might be considered a first-rounder by some teams, probably most teams – and definitely by teams with holes in their secondary.

Another factor to consider in light of the Jenkins situation is that the North Alabama corner was selected by Jeff Fisher, a coach who is not afraid to take on players labeled “difficult,” “problematic” or “character-issue.” Additionally, the Rams were in desperate need of defensive playmakers. Mathieu might need a similar situation if he wants to land in the top 40 picks.

But as they say, it only takes one team willing to take a chance. And chances are the Honey Badger will be too sweet for a desperate team with holes in its secondary to pass up in … the late first round, I’d guess. But that’s assuming he continues to perform at the same level on Saturdays and, obviously, that there are no more failed drug tests.


Popular Video