Tyrann Mathieu Had No Choice but to Declare for the NFL Draft

Barrett Sallee@BarrettSalleeSEC Football Lead WriterNovember 29, 2012

It was assumed when Tyrann Mathieu was dismissed prior to the 2012 season that he ultimately would land in the NFL draft.

That assumption became reality on Thursday, when ESPN's Joe Schad reported that the Honey Badger would forgo his remaining eligibility and enter the 2013 NFL draft.

Former LSU defensive back Tyrann Mathieu plans to announce today he is entering the next NFL draft, a source said

— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) November 29, 2012

Mathieu had no other choice.

LSU head coach Les Miles and athletic director Joe Alleva said in August that Mathieu's dismissal was permanent; but after Mathieu entered into rehab and stayed enrolled at LSU, it was thought that Mathieu may be working his way back into the good graces of the LSU staff.

However, Mathieu was charged with simple possession of marijuana in October, and his future eligibility came into question after Sports Illustrated detailed possible violations Mathieu and other LSU players may have received at area night clubs.

Mathieu became too toxic for LSU to take a chance on, and it's better for LSU and Mathieu if the Honey Badger takes his talents to the pros.

For LSU, it removes all doubt and eliminates the possibility of Mathieu creating an unnecessary distraction.

Without Mathieu this season, LSU posted the nation's No. 20 pass defense (194.3 YPG). The Tigers weren't great in the punt return game (9.59 yards per attempt), but Odell Beckham Jr., provided a spark at times, including a sizzling 89-yarder for a touchdown vs. Ole Miss that tied the game at 35.

For Mathieu, it's a clean break. He saw the writing on the wall after his latest arrest.

While he isn't as accomplished as a cover corner as the NFL would probably like him to be, he's a good enough playmaker for some team to take a chance.

After all, Maurice Clarett even got drafted.

Mathieu was going to have to answer the character questions during the draft process anyway, and if the LSU ship has sailed—which it clearly has—he's making the right decision to test the NFL waters.