With the 2013 NFL Draft upon us, I thought I would take the opportunity to watch some film on players who are typically projected in mock drafts to go around the 56th pick, which is the first pick the Seattle Seahawks have this year. I decided to scout not just all of the players who are projected to go around pick 56, but rather just the players in that area who would best fit the needs and style of the Seahawks.
This time, we will be examining LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu. Mathieu is known as “Honey Badger” after the diminutive, fearless animal. He is only 5-foot-9, but he makes up for his small stature with explosive playmaking capabilities.
His versatility would make him a pretty good fit for the Seahawks, and he would make a good understudy to Antoine Winfield as the nickelback of the future. He’s also very agile and elusive, which means he’d be an option to return punts and/or kickoffs if Percy Harvin gets hurt.
I watched quite a bit of tape on him, and here’s what I gathered as far as strengths and weaknesses:
He’s very quick, and can play at either cornerback or safety. He is a good tackler, and he does an excellent job of trying to strip the ball while he has the ball-carrier wrapped up. He is a dynamic player who makes big plays, either by forcing turnovers on defense or in the return game. His ability to track ball-carriers down in the open field could make him an elite special teams player.
He’s obviously had his share of troubles off the field with drugs and being released from the LSU football team, but he also has some problems on the field as well. He’s only 5-foot-9 and about 185 pounds, which would be less of a problem if he were just a bit faster. He ran a 4.5 second time in the 40-yard dash, which is pretty average for a cornerback. His issues with the law and inability to stay out of trouble have definitely hurt his stock.
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