Tyrann Mathieu Scouting Report

December 13th, 2012

The Honey Badger says “Don’ Forget About Me!”

QB / RB / FB / WR / TE / OT / OG / OC / DT / DE / OLB / ILB / CB / SAF

Prospect: Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU
Height: 5’9”
Weight: 175 lb.
Grade: 7.1

Athleticism:
• Small size and stature a big limit
• Open field speed and burst to close both adequate
• Change of direction skills near elite, shows up as a punt returner

Intelligence:
• Character concerns, kicked off the team due to failed drug tests, arrested for marijuana possession a few months later
• Seemingly a personal foul waiting to happen after the play occasionally
• Good understanding and football IQ, duty disciplined

Zone Coverage:
• Instinctive feel for route runners around him, can break on ball effectively
• Loses eye discipline too often, can get caught up watching the ball
• Gets to a high percentage of balls after the catch, motor and energy level are high
• Bounces around in zone coverage with lack of technique in his footwork
• Ability to press in both zone and man lacking, whiffs on contact often

Man Coverage:
• Very high in his backpedal with lengthy strides, unnatural for him
• Long steps limit his transition, forces him to give overly big cushions
• Lack of hip fluidity leads to late reaction out of receiver’s breaks
• Instinctive feel for inside/out leverage
• Ball skills are a plus, can highpoint it or get a hand to the ball consistently

Run Support:
• Vulture for the ball, always looking to strip it and force turnovers
• Tendency to go for the strip makes tackling technique inconsistent at best, fails to wrap often
• Struggles to shed blocks, overmatched on size and strength often
• Very aggressive in run support and as a blitzer, attacks the line of scrimmage, fearless

Leadership:
• Was never an upperclassmen at LSU or in leadership role on senior-led defenses

Overall:
The man dubbed “Honeybadger” will be one of the most polarizing prospects come April. After getting kicked off the team in August, he opted not to transfer and decided to sit out a season. It’s not unprecedented for a prospect to get drafted after missing a whole season non-injury related. Robert Quinn was ruled ineligible and missed a season before becoming a first round pick in 2011. Teams interested in Mathieu will have to do their homework and put him through very personal interviews before drafting him to be sure. He can be an instant impact player and playmaker for the defense he joins. Even so, he has quite a bit of growing to do on the football field and may be scheme dependent.

 

He’s a much better fit for a zone scheme which allows him to get to the ball often. He may also be slot corner only, because it remains to be seen if he can be trusted on the boundary. Mathieu was a high-impact punt returner during his time at LSU. He displayed elite change of direction skills and vision to complement it. Despite the question marks, many teams will be excited about his instinctive style of play and tendency to turn games around on a dime.
Report by Darren Page

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