Tyrann Mathieu put on a show at LSU's pro day on Wednesday, adding further intrigue as to when he'll be drafted in late April.
After his workout, NFL Network's Bucky Brooks spoke in glowing terms about Mathieu's abilities as a nickel corner, via NFL.com's Chris Wesseling:
He continues to build a case for being one of the most intriguing nickel corner prospects in the draft...I think people will look at the playmaking ability, the fact that he created so many turnovers, made so many big plays for LSU in 2011, that they're going to take a chance on him somewhere in the third round
Mathieu has done nothing but boost his draft stock since the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine. He posted solid numbers across the board in the measureable drills (h/t ESPN College Football) and looked excellent during field drills.
ESPN CollegeFootball @ESPNCFB
#LSUProDay on ESPN3 - @Mathieu_Era 2013 NFL Combine results: http://t.co/CnIJ5T16vM3/27/2013, 5:43:14 PM
He's received the endorsement of "Prime Time" himself, Deion Sanders, who interviewed him after his combine workout. Sanders said, "This guy is a straight up dog. You know what I mean by dog. Man's best friend. He's a overachiever. He's all that and a bag of chips."
ESPN's Ed Werder made an astute comment regarding Sanders' endorsement of Mathieu, pointing out that he's endorsed another former troublemaker:
Ed Werder @Edwerderespn
Deion Sanders also endorsed PacMan Jones...RT... Tyrann Mathieu aces LSU pro-day workout - http://t.co/NHik7iCZFv http://t.co/HHf4kW8Of63/28/2013, 1:13:25 AM
Mathieu is a player who would have been a lock as a second-round pick—possibly a late-first round pick—if not for some serious concerns about his ability to stay focused on football and away from drugs.
He was kicked off LSU's football team back in August, and we later found out he had failed multiple drug tests and spent some time in rehab. Even after this wake-up call, Mathieu didn't stop the behavior that got him into trouble, and he was arrested in October for "simple possession of marijuana."
That proved to be the turning point, as Mathieu has, by all appearances, turned his life around since that event. He has been forthright about his problem and has since put his mind to the task of preparing for the NFL draft.
After the combine and his pro day at LSU, it's safe to say Mathieu's hard work has paid off. He was always an athletically gifted player with a penchant for making big plays in big games, and now it seems that this young man is ready to take the next step.
Mathieu may not be drafted in Round 2, but after his sharp workout at LSU on Wednesday, nobody will be shocked to see him go early in Round 3.
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