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Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU Tigers: 2013 NFL Draft Player Profile


Feb 26, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Louisiana State Tigers defensive end Tyrann Mathieu runs with the ball after catching a pass during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Height: 5’9″

Weight: 186 pounds

Drafted By: Arizona Cardinals (3rd round, 69th overall)

40 Yard Dash: 4.50

Bench Press: 4

Vertical Jump: 34″

Broad Jump: 117″

2011 Statistics (Suspended all of 2012 season)

Punt Returns
All-Purpose Running
GRushRecv.Punt Ret.Kick Ret.Int. Ret.PlaysTotal YardsYards/PlayYards/G
Fumble Returns
GFum. Ret.YardsTD
Tackles For Loss
GSacksSack YardsSacks/G
Misc. Defense
GPasses Broken UpQB HurriesFumbles ForcedKicks/Punts Blocked

Career Highlights (via LSU athletics site)

2011 Heisman Memorial Trophy Finalist
2011 Bednarik Award Recipient
2011 Walter Camp National Player of the Year Finalist
2011 First-Team All-American at Cornerback (AP, FWAA, Sporting News, Walter Camp, CBSsports.com, ESPN.com, FoxSportsNext.com, Rivals.com, SI.com)
2011 First-Team All-American at Return Specialist (CBSSports.com, Rivals.com, SI.com)
2011 National Defensive Player of the Year (FoxSportsNext.com, Rivals.com)
2011 Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year (AP)
2011 First-Team All-Southeastern Conference (APCoaches)
2011 SEC Championship Game Most Valuable Player
2011 Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week (at West Virginia, vs. Arkansas)
2011 SEC Defensive Player of the Week (vs. Oregon, vs. Arkansas)
2011 Rivals.com National and SEC Player of the Week (vs. Arkansas)
2011 Jim Thorpe Defensive Back of the Week (vs. Oregon)
2011 Rivals.com SEC Player of the Week (vs. Oregon)
2011 Cotton Bowl Defensive Most Outstanding Player
2010 First Team Freshman All-America (FWAA, Rivals.com)
2010 Freshman All-Southeastern Conference (Coaches)

Dismissed from the team on Aug. 10, 2012, during camp for violation of team rules. | Details

A 2012 National Player of the Year candidate who is one of the top playmakers in college football history … A fan favorite who plays well beyond his size with tremendous heart and talent … The 2011 National Defensive Player of the Year, unanimous first-team All-American and recipient of the Bednarik Award … Became the first defensive back to be invited to the Heisman Trophy ceremony in New York since Charles Woodson of Michigan in 1997 … Finished fifth in the 2011 Heisman Trophy voting with 327 total points and 34 first-place votes … Has a knack for finding the football and coming up with big plays … In his 26 game career, he has created a total of 14 turnovers (eight fumble recoveries, four interceptions, two forced fumbles recovered by a teammate) … Owns the school record of 11 forced fumbles, which is four better than the previous record … The 11 career forced fumbles ranks as the seventh-highest total in NCAA history and is tied with Guss Scott of Florida for the SEC record … Needs just three forced fumbles to tie the NCAA career record currently held by three players … Of his 11 forced fumbles, he has recovered six of them and eight of the forced fumbles have resulted in turnovers … Heads into his junior year as the current NCAA career record holder in forced fumbles per game (0.42) … His eight career fumble recoveries is tied for third in school history and just three away from tying the school record … Took over at one of the cornerback positions in 2011 for the departed Patrick Peterson and will man that position again in 2012 … Recorded 133 career tackles with 93 of those being of the solo variety … Added 16 tackles for loss of 90 yards, including six sacks for a loss of 48 yards … Proved to be a dynamic punt returner as well, boasting a 15.6 per return average (27 returns for 421 yards) with two touchdowns … Has started 14 career games – 10 of those at cornerback, three at nickel back and once at free safety … Owns four career touchdowns (two punt returns, two fumble recoveries).

A unanimous first-team All-American and recipient of the Bednarik Award as the nation’s top defensive player, representing the second straight year an LSU player has won the honor … Became LSU’s first Heisman Trophy finalist invited to New York since Charles Alexander in 1977 … The 2011 SEC Defensive Player of the Year as voted upon by the Associated Press … Started 13 games and missed the Auburn contest … Led the SEC in forced fumbles with six and fumble recoveries with five … Shattered his own school record in single-season forced fumbles and finished second in LSU single-season fumble recoveries … Ranked No. 1 nationally in fumble recoveries and was fourth nationally in forced fumbles … Ranked second in the SEC and fourth nationally in punt return average at 15.6 yards per return and added two touchdowns … His 421 punt return yards on 21 attempts finished as the sixth-highest total yardage in LSU single-season history … Team leader in total tackles with 76, including 59 of the solo variety … Also notched 7.5 tackles for loss of 45 yards, 1.5 sacks, two interceptions and nine pass breakups … Named the SEC Championship Game MVP against Georgia after he returned a punt 62 yards for a touchdown, finished with 119 return yards, posted four solo tackles and recovered a fumble … Became just the second player to return a punt for a TD in the game’s history and the first defensive player to win the MVP award since 1994 … Received Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week and SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors after he posted eight solo tackles, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery against Arkansas in his first career start at safety … Also returned a punt 92 yards for a touchdown against the Razorbacks, which equaled the third-longest punt return in school history … Missed the Auburn game for a violation of team rules … Picked off his second pass of the season and added six tackles and one TFL against Florida … Showed his game-changing abilities again versus Kentucky as he forced two fumbles, recovered and returned one for a 23-yard touchdown and posted an eight-yard sack … Named the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week after he came up big once again at West Virginia with a forced fumble that he recovered and an interception on a pass he tipped and returned to the WVU 1-yard line … Leading tackler for LSU at Mississippi State with a career-high tying 10 stops, nine of which were solo, and one TFL … All over the field against Northwestern State with four tackles, 1.5 TFLs, one PBU, one QB hurry and he combined with Sam Montgomery to record LSU’s first sack of the season … Picked up where he left off in 2010 by recording a career-high and team-leading 10 tackles in the season-opener against Oregon and also forced a fumble on a punt that he returned for his first career touchdown … Earned SEC Defensive Player of the Week, Rivals.com SEC Player of the Week and the Thorpe Award Defensive Back of the Week honors after his phenomenal performance against Oregon in which he also added a half tackle for a loss and two pass breakups.

Made an immediate impact as a true freshman, serving as a reserve cornerback and as the nickel back … Played in all 13 games with one start at left cornerback against Louisiana-Monroe … Ranked first in the SEC and fifth nationally with five forced fumbles and tied for first in the conference in fumble recoveries with three … Led the team with seven pass breakups … Fourth on the team in tackles with 57 … Was an absolute playmaker on the season with 8.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, seven pass breakups, five forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and two interceptions … Earned Cotton Bowl Defensive Most Outstanding Player award after the best game of his young career in which he recorded seven tackles, one tackle for loss, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, one interception, one sack and one pass breakup … Narrowly missed his then-career high in tackles with eight at Arkansas to go along with a sack and two tackles for loss … Credited with six tackles, 0.5 TFL, one pass breakup that led to an interception and one QB hurry versus Ole Miss … Recorded four tackles and one PBU versus Alabama, and his PBU led to Kelvin Sheppard‘s interception … Tremendous effort at Florida where he recorded two solo stops, forced a fumble that he recovered and broke up a pass … Made his first career interception and his first career fumble recovery against West Virginia … Was great against Mississippi State as he tallied four tackles, one six-yard sack, a forced fumble and a PBU … Outstanding in his first game as a Tiger, recording nine tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, one sack and a forced fumble in the opener against North Carolina … Showed great instincts and knowledge of the game during the fall and earned the No. 2 spot at right cornerback behind Patrick Peterson.

Scouting Report/Player Notes

It will be a tough road ahead for Mathieu, whom I was very high on prior to the 2012 season. He contended for a Heisman Trophy in 2011/12, and I thought coming out as a junior, he was going to just kill it. He has speed, toughness, elite athletic ability, but most importantly, he has a feel for the game like no other player I’ve scouted in this class. That being said, he missed the entire 2012 season for mistakes he made off the field, which can’t be ignored. What will happen when you give him an NFL contract? He can be serious on the field, but can he stay out of trouble off of it? I think Mathieu needs to get the ship on the right track quickly. He’s far too talented not to. In the NFL, he will be a slot corner and special teams ace. Slot corners in my opinion are just as valuable as a number one corner anymore. They often cover the other team’s best receiver, blitz, cover tight ends, running backs, and they are basically like another mike linebacker on the field in the sense that you have to account for them on every play. Mathieu can excel in that role at the NFL level because of his speed, toughness, and quickness, not to mention instincts. I think he can be a star in the NFL, so hopefully the year off has humbled him quite a bit.


This kid is flat out incredible. If he were blessed with the same size of Patrick Peterson, there might not be a question in anyone’s mind that he was the odds on favorite not just to be the first cornerback selected, but possibly the best defensive player overall. For him to dominate like he has at his size so early in his career is remarkable. He’s going to have trouble adjusting to the NFL in terms of his size, but it’s the size of his heart that counts. This guy’s going to help your football team in so many ways, be it forcing turnovers, contributing on special teams, or taking interceptions and fumble recoveries back the other way for six. If he improves overall in his coverage in 2012, you can forget about questions–this kid should be a first round pick. He could get engulfed by bigger receivers, but he could be the best slot corner in the NFL, which is becoming one of the most important positions in the league. He can also contribute as an elite return specialist. His overall game reminds me of the late Darrent Williams, who was on his way to being a star with the Denver Broncos before he was tragically shot. The “Honey Badger” don’t care how big or small he is, he’s going to kick somebody’s butt on the field. Not afraid to speak his mind and definitely has a swagger about him. Got suspended last year for a game and needs to stay out of trouble. Could be extremely valuable as a blitzing defensive back, as well as covering slot receivers.

Video Highlights (via YouTube)