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Arguably the most talked-about prospect in the draft didn’t even play college football in 2012, but Tyrann Mathieu will still get his opportunity in the NFL.
The “Honey Badger” was a playmaker at LSU with four interceptions, six sacks, 11 forced fumbles, as well as two punt returns for touchdowns, but extra-curricular activities derailed his college career and saw him kicked off the team.
Fans may drool over his ability, which saw him make the Heisman Trophy final and win SEC Defensive Player of the Year in 2011, but his rap sheet is long and worrying, with repeatedly failed drugs tests and multiple run-ins with both college and law enforcement due to his indulging in marijuana use.
Mathieu was given every chance by LSU to stay on the program, but eventually, having blown all of them, he was dismissed.
NFL teams will rightly question his maturity, and most will already be questioning whether he can be trusted on their team. Furthermore, trusting him with the rewards of an NFL contract will raise even more concerns.
If the major character red flags weren’t enough for Miami, he is also undersized at 5'9" and 180 pounds, and is likely a nickel corner in the NFL. Everybody knows Jeff Ireland rarely drafts undersized prospects.
So, despite all his talents, ask yourselves this: Would Jeff Ireland really give a six-figure contract to someone who has consistently used drugs in college, and would he trust him enough to not fall to the temptations of South Florida’s dark side? If you believe he would, then consider whether Joe Philbin would want a player with Mathieu’s history on his football team.
He might be a changed man, and it would be great if he turns himself around and succeeds in the NFL, but the match just doesn’t work.
Tyrann Mathieu isn’t right for Miami, and Miami isn’t right for Tyrann Mathieu.