When teams heard former LSU defensive back Tyrann Mathieu was preparing for the combine, they probably didn’t think his workout would lead to more questions than answers. The “Honey Badger” was supposed to be rested and ready to show NFL teams his potential.
One man he failed to impress was Cincinnati Bengals Defensive Coordinator Mike Zimmer. Mathieu didn’t prove that he had been working hard — He only bench-pressed four repetitions of 225 pounds. That tells Zimmer and the rest of the NFL that Mathieu hasn’t been working as hard as he led everyone to believe.
“It does concern me,” Zimmer told NFL AM, “because if he was working, obviously — I can bench four times, probably.”
It would seem Zimmer and the Bengals are unlikely to draft Mathieu despite their need for secondary help. However, Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders had a different view. He thinks Mathieu will succeed in the NFL.
“This guy is a straight up dog. You know what I mean by dog. Man’s best friend. He’s a overachiever,” Sanders told NFL Network ”He’s all that and a bag of chips.”
Mathieu did run the 40-yard-dash in 4.43 seconds. If the 2011 Heisman Trophy Finalist can be half the playmaker he was in college, he is worth drafting.
His small stature is also something that worries scouts. At 5’9” and just 186 pounds he is one of the smaller defensive backs in the draft. Former Louisville corner Adrian Bushell weighed the same as Mathieu, but bench-pressed 225-pounds 17 times.
His combine failure shows lack of work ethic which may hurt the “Honey Badger’s” draft stock. But, only one team needs to like Mathieu for him to get drafted. Mathieu has plenty of potential and there is no way he doesn’t hear his name called on draft day.