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Old 05-03-2012, 12:13 AM    (permalink
Mr. Goosemahn
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Default Prospect of the Day: Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU

CB Tyrann "Honey Badger" Mathieu, LSU

#7 - 5'9 – 175 lbs. – 19 years old











So what do you guys think of him? Can he be a #1 CB next year? Personally, I don't think he's up there with the best CB's in recent years like Peterson and Claiborne, but he's still good.

Also, do you think his size will shy teams away from him?

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

Previous Prospects of the Day

QB Matt Barkley, USC
CB Tyrann Mathieu, LSU
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:35 AM    (permalink
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Overrated. Second round pick IMO.
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:01 AM    (permalink
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Unfortunately for Mathieu his height is going to be something that scares off a lot of NFL teams. He's listed at 5'9 which is already on the shorter side for CBs, but I'm willing to bet he's even shorter than that. With all of the big receivers that play on the outside now he may be limited to only playing in the slot, and even with his knack for making the big play a slot CB/Rover will never warrant a high pick.
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:18 AM    (permalink
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I think more and more teams are going to view guys who can play in the slot as being more valuable now than ever before.

A lot of guys who have the size to match of with perimeter guys like Calvin, AJ, Fitz etc don't have the necessary quick movements to match up with guys like Wes Welker or Victor Cruz in the slot.

Having someone who can play the slot limits a team's ability to move the chains.

Take the Patriots for example,

The fact that last year they had no outside WRs worth mentioning, if teams could slow Welker down then they could focus on Gronk and Hernandez which limited their effectiveness.

Yet teams who had very good perimeter CBs failed to slow the offense down because of the damage Brady could do underneath.

It's a completely different game these days. It's not two WRs, a TE, a FB and a RB. If you can't match up against 4 or 5 WR sets then you will struggle defensively.

I'm not sure Mathieu will be a high pick but he should carve out a niche for himself in the NFL thanks to his playmaking ability and competitiveness.
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:38 AM    (permalink
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Honey Badger don't give a damn what you guys think.


Someone had to say it. On a serious note, Antoincd made a good point. Teams play multiple receiver sets. It's just as important to cover the slot guy as the guy outside the numbers. They're the ones who move the chains. There are a lot of cb's who don't like to and aren't very good at covering slot guys. I'd love to get Honey Badger on the Pats. We'll take him at 32 if the rest of you guys don't want him
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:51 PM    (permalink
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I think more and more teams are going to view guys who can play in the slot as being more valuable now than ever before.

A lot of guys who have the size to match of with perimeter guys like Calvin, AJ, Fitz etc don't have the necessary quick movements to match up with guys like Wes Welker or Victor Cruz in the slot.

Having someone who can play the slot limits a team's ability to move the chains.

Take the Patriots for example,

The fact that last year they had no outside WRs worth mentioning, if teams could slow Welker down then they could focus on Gronk and Hernandez which limited their effectiveness.

Yet teams who had very good perimeter CBs failed to slow the offense down because of the damage Brady could do underneath.

It's a completely different game these days. It's not two WRs, a TE, a FB and a RB. If you can't match up against 4 or 5 WR sets then you will struggle defensively.

I'm not sure Mathieu will be a high pick but he should carve out a niche for himself in the NFL thanks to his playmaking ability and competitiveness.
This is exactly my take on it. I like his style, and don't think his size is as much of a concern as it might have been a few years ago; the transition to a more wide-open passing game throughout the league means smaller players in more prominent roles. No, you're not necessarily going to want him on an island on the outside (although, let's be honest - we're only projecting him when we say that, and he could always play better than expected), but for the kind of guys who work the slot, the Victor Cruzs and Wes Welkers of the world, it doesn't hurt to have a defensive slot specialist to match up with an offensive slot specialist. Not to mention he's going to go balls-out on every nickel blitz that gets called for him and offers real value on special teams both as a returner and a gunner.

Certainly not in the Revis/Peterson category, but even Revis isn't huge. Realistically, we might be talking about a Brandon Flowers kind of cornerback. If you're drafting him to be your no. 1 corner you might be overrating him, but if you're expecting him to be a high-intensity matchup corner and return man I think he's a guy a team would feel pretty good about picking in the second, and depending on how this next year goes, he could sneak into the late first. Defensive backs are increasingly important, and I think if guys like Jerrell Jernigan, Randall Cobb, Percy Harvin, etc. are starting to be picked in the late first/second, the guys who line up across from them are going to merit being picked in the same range; I too see nickel corners beginning to be more and more of an actual position teams scout specifically for.
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:47 AM    (permalink
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Nickel DB who might have to play FS in the NFL as well as special teams. I love his playmaking ability, but there is no way I trust him on the boundary against an elite WR.
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:20 AM    (permalink
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I don't see how you can discout his height and weight when he plays bigger and stronger than every single corner in the country, bar none.
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:30 AM    (permalink
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I think as a college player, he is extremely overrated. I said it in another thread but much of his hype is from his nickname. If people called him the Platypus rather than the Honey Badger, he wouldn't have been invited to New York for the Heisman ceremony. As for the NFL, I think he needs to be ready for a long fall. His size is certainly not great. And when you are that small, your timed speed better make up for it. I don't think he is a 4.4 guy. I expect him to run in the mid 4.5s, similar to what Joe Haden did at the combine. Plus I expect his production to decrease this season. Add that together and I think he is at best a late-second round pick who would be foolish to come out early.
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:32 AM    (permalink
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I think as a college player, he is extremely overrated. I said it in another thread but much of his hype is from his nickname. If people called him the Platypus rather than the Honey Badger, he wouldn't have been invited to New York for the Heisman ceremony. As for the NFL, I think he needs to be ready for a long fall. His size is certainly not great. And when you are that small, your timed speed better make up for it. I don't think he is a 4.4 guy. I expect him to run in the mid 4.5s, similar to what Joe Haden did at the combine. Plus I expect his production to decrease this season. Add that together and I think he is at best a late-second round pick who would be foolish to come out early.

Are you kidding? The dude was a dominant playmaker.

I think he'll be great in a slot/safety role, where he can blitz, roam, and play the football. You're wasting his talents if you line him up man to man on the outside every play.

His hands and return ability is nice, he's dangerous with the football, but he has 11 forced fumbles and 6 sacks in 2 years ( 26 games, 14 starts)
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Old 05-03-2012, 12:06 PM    (permalink
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It doesn't bother me at all that he is going to be a nickel corner. Teams are in nickel or dime more than their base packages. He's a playmaker with the feistiness I love.

I'm not saying he could get drafted in the first, but I could see him as high as the second if he does well at the combine and third if he doesn't. Drafting a potential playmaker like him in the second or third is great value. I think he has to fit the team's system though, he has to be allowed to be a playmaker.
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:58 AM    (permalink
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cortland finnegan a good comparison?
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:18 AM    (permalink
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cortland finnegan a good comparison?
Not in my mind. Finnegan is a bit bigger and has better speed. It isn't a horrible comparison, but probably not the one I'd go with.
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:39 AM    (permalink
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I like this kid. He just makes plays. There is something to be said for someone who is always around the ball and isn't afraid of the spotlight. I don't think he's quite the prospect some will make him out to be but he will have a nice career in the NFL.
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:34 AM    (permalink
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Two things. Even if you don't think he can play cb.

1. A nickel back is a starter in today's NFL. The 4-2-5 is the base defense in the league. Not the 3-4 or 4-3. I'm pretty sure he can do that. And, do it well. Because it allows him to free lance a little.

2. He might be the best punt returner to come out of college since Devin Hester.
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:37 AM    (permalink
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Two things. Even if you don't think he can play cb.

1. A nickel back is a starter in today's NFL. The 4-2-5 is the base defense in the league. Not the 3-4 or 4-3. I'm pretty sure he can do that. And, do it well. Because it allows him to free lance a little.

2. He might be the best punt returner to come out of college since Devin Hester.
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:58 PM    (permalink
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:56 AM    (permalink
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I think he's a 4.3-4.4 guy. He's super talented, but all of that doesn't come from his coverage ability. He'll be one of the top CB's in the draft most likely, but I would imagine teams that run out of the nickel a lot will value him more than others. I do think he can play outside though and he's got play-making ability. He's probably going to be a solid 2nd round prospect for sure, but I imagine he'll end up in the 1st.
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:07 AM    (permalink
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I think he might be better off on offense to be honest. Let's not kid ourselves with what we are looking at. His long speed is average at best. I would expect 4.5's to a 4.6 forty. That's okay on offense because you don't have to worry about somebody running by you for 6.

His quickness and field vision is what makes him special with the ball in his hands. The guy is pint sized. Let's not confuse him with Troy Polamalu. Troy had 30 lbs. on the guy and at least an inch. Mathieu is tough, aggressive, and tackles well, but is he really going to be able to maintain that success at the next level with his size?

There is a reason why LSU uses him as a slot guy and safety only. You won't see him on an island because his coverage skills aren't good enough. Generally when he plays the slot, he isn't even in true man-to-man coverage. He is playing either inside or outside, and relying on a safety to take care of the other side.

Basically the Tim Tebow of defensive prospects in my opinion. Awesome college player, one of the best ever. But logically, nothing points to this guy being successful in the NFL, no matter how much you root for him...
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Old 05-03-2012, 12:48 PM    (permalink
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I think he might be better off on offense to be honest. Let's not kid ourselves with what we are looking at. His long speed is average at best. I would expect 4.5's to a 4.6 forty. That's okay on offense because you don't have to worry about somebody running by you for 6.

His quickness and field vision is what makes him special with the ball in his hands. The guy is pint sized. Let's not confuse him with Troy Polamalu. Troy had 30 lbs. on the guy and at least an inch. Mathieu is tough, aggressive, and tackles well, but is he really going to be able to maintain that success at the next level with his size?

There is a reason why LSU uses him as a slot guy and safety only. You won't see him on an island because his coverage skills aren't good enough. Generally when he plays the slot, he isn't even in true man-to-man coverage. He is playing either inside or outside, and relying on a safety to take care of the other side.

Basically the Tim Tebow of defensive prospects in my opinion. Awesome college player, one of the best ever. But logically, nothing points to this guy being successful in the NFL, no matter how much you root for him...
I never really gave that any thought, but playing him on offense actually makes a lot of sense. Not to say he would strictly be an offensive player, but he could be a unique 2 way player.

...and yes, he's not a guy you want to leave on an island.
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Old 05-03-2012, 03:41 PM    (permalink
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I think there's going(and is)to be way too much made about what he can't do in the NFL. You can't put him outside in man coverage. You can't put him in man on bigger slot receivers. Don't get me wrong, those are completely fair pieces of criticism that limits his value quite a bit. We're probably projecting giving him a late first/early second round ceiling right off the bat because of that. He's simply not the kind of guy you draft to fix your coverage unit on his own. He's a luxury type pick for a good defense that can move him around and put him in positions where he isn't overmatched with size. He'll help against shiftier slot receivers and in deep zone, where his primary responsibility will be to track the ball. His knack for creating turnovers and big plays is just too valuable to completely dismiss.

Don't forget, he offers an immense amount of value as a punt returner too. I would be interested to see how he did with kickoffs. You can probably use him on punt/kickoff coverage units as well.
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Old 05-03-2012, 03:46 PM    (permalink
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I think there's going(and is)to be way too much made about what he can't do in the NFL. You can't put him outside in man coverage. You can't put him in man on bigger slot receivers. Don't get me wrong, those are completely fair pieces of criticism that limits his value quite a bit. We're probably projecting giving him a late first/early second round ceiling right off the bat because of that. He's simply not the kind of guy you draft to fix your coverage unit on his own. He's a luxury type pick for a good defense that can move him around and put him in positions where he isn't overmatched with size. He'll help against shiftier slot receivers and in deep zone, where his primary responsibility will be to track the ball. His knack for creating turnovers and big plays is just too valuable to completely dismiss.

Don't forget, he offers an immense amount of value as a punt returner too. I would be interested to see how he did with kickoffs. You can probably use him on punt/kickoff coverage units as well.
Right. "Shutdown corner?" Maybe not. Will a creative defensive coach like to have a guy like that to line up all over the field to take out a teams' slot receiver, blitzing, or disguising coverages by having him drop back to free safety while the free safety steps up into man? Absolutely. If you're got Darrelle Revis covering Hakeem Nicks and Cromartie over Rueben Randle, you're still got to have a guy cover Victor Cruz, and it may be more important to have a player who can make a quick, sure tackle or create a sharp pop as the ball arrives than someone who's going to highpoint a deep ball.
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:06 PM    (permalink
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I'm going to go on record to say regardless of what people think of him, he's going to go in the first round of the draft.
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:23 PM    (permalink
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I wanna see how he plays without Claiborne before I make a judgement. You have to love the constant timely play making, but I want to see it when teams can prepare for him.
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:41 AM    (permalink
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If I'm the Jets, I'm looking at him as a good match up for Wes Welker.
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