The Arizona Cardinals drafted LSU’s Honey Badger, aka Tyrann Mathieu, in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft. His off field issues make him a risky pick, but at the same time a Heisman finalist and dynamic play maker on defense in the third round is a bargain deal. From the jump I said that Arizona Cardinals, with former teammate Patrick Peterson, was a good fit for Mathieu.
Peterson and Mathieu worked together in the offseason, Peterson playing the role of the larger wide receiver that Mathieu would face in his NFL career. Mathieu however will most likely play free safety and not cornerback.
When asked if the 5-foot-9 and 186 pound Tyrann Mathieu is big enough to play free safety in the base defense, head coach Bruce Arians had a short and sweet answer.
“No doubt,” Arians said, via the team’s website. “He plays bigger than he is and plays faster than he is.”
In Arizona’s first preseason game, and the first NFL action Mathieu has seen, he made an impact on the game. Mathieu recorded a 12 yard sack, broke up a pass with a big hit and had a 24 yard punt return on special teams. ESPN’s Adam Schefter even called Mathieu “one of the steals of the draft.”