The Arizona Cardinals took a risk with their third-round pick when they selected former LSU Tigers defensive back Tyrann Mathieu despite his sitting out for a year after drug issues ended his college career, but it looks like the Cardinals are going all-in with Mathieu and hoping to get the most bang for their buck by playing him at multiple positions.
Early reports from the team’s training camp indicate that Mathieu is working at safety in the team’s base packages and in the slot cornerback in the team’s nickel packages.
“He’s learning how to play safety,” Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said. “He can cover sideline to sideline. He’s shown the range, he’s shown the speed to fill the alley, and I know he can tackle. He knows how to play nickel. He’s played it his whole life, so that’s a natural for him.”
The hope is that Mathieu can use his range and instincts on the field to make the big plays that made him popular during his time in Baton Rouge.
Mathieu is currently behind Yeremiah Bell on the team’s depth chart, but if he can make an impact during camp and throughout the preseason, the ball-hawking defensive back could see plenty of time in the rotation throughout his rookie season.