Tyrann Mathieu finally found his way back onto a football field.
No, it wasn't in a classic SEC clash against the Alabama Crimson Tide in front of 100,000 fans, it was at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine in front of a relatively smaller, more critical collection of onlookers.
He clocked an official 4.50 seconds in the 40-yard dash, a good time for a defensive back, especially one who's considered quicker than fast.
However, he only managed four reps of 225 on the bench press, a rather embarrassing number.
So, what are the experts saying about the Honey Badger's performance in Indy?
Will Brinson chimed in with the following after Mathieu was done for the day at Lucas Oil Stadium:
Mathieu certainly helped his stock. He ran a 4.43 (unofficially) in the 40-yard dash. He displayed ball skills, which we all know he has. And if Deion Sanders was his agent, well, he'd be a top-five pick.
Mathieu was confident in his own performance, though he also said he came into the day confident as well.
Mathieu did some very good stuff on the field. It's important to remember no one's evaluating him as a No. 1 corner who's going to step in and shut down teams' opposing top wideouts. Mathieu helped himself Tuesday because he showed that despite all his off-field issues, he's still a very talented young man who knows how to find the ball and can make a difference on the football field.
Hard to disagree with Brinson. Mathieu's tape speaks for itself. The guy is an elusive playmaker and an adequate zone corner with amazing return ability.
Prospects with character red flags get selected every year.
Here's a tweet grabbed from Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com:
Just to clarify, I think Mathieu has had a very good workout. Struggled on 1 flip drill. That was the only blemish. Excellent ball skills— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) February 26, 2013
It's not easy differentiating the "good" workouts from the "bad" ones when it comes to the defensive backs, because just about all of them are smooth athletically.
In watching, Mathieu did look fluid in the agility drills and didn't have any major problems catching the football.
Here's what Darin Gantt had to say about the Honey Badger, an opinion which seems to be very popular at this stage:
Whether NFL evaluators trust his story or not, showing that kind of speed will make them more willing to be forgiving, as they ponder whether his return skills alone would make him worth taking a chance on.
Like Adam "Pacman" Jones, a guy who's been given multiple chances at the NFL level, if the skill is there—and it appears to be with Mathieu—a team will provide him an opportunity.