The Arizona Cardinals drafted Tyrann Mathieu in the third round of April’s NFL Draft. Mathieu could end up being a steal in the draft after slipping to the third round. Coming of a season as Heisman Finalist in his sophomore year, he had a huge year projected for his junior season. That included potentially being drafted in the first round.
After some off-field issues and missing his entire junior season to resolve personal issues, Mathieu’s draft stock slipped and the Cardinals got the defensive back in the third round.
Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians was asked whether Mathieu could make an immediate impact by Steve Wyche of NFL Network’s NFL AM.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt,” Arians said, via NFL.com. “He’s getting his hands on a lot of balls. The guy’s got amazing instincts and closing speed.”
Mathieu is set up to succeed in Arizona. His friend and former teammate Patrick Peterson plays there, and he spent time training with Peterson ahead of the draft earlier in the year.
Right now the Cardinals have Yeremiah Bell and Rashad Johnson listed as the starting safeties on the team’s site.
Beat writer Darren Urban said that Mathieu “is going to play in some way, shape or form, including nickel corner sometimes. You just don’t see it any other way.”
But if he continues to impress he could win the free safety starting job.