Mathieu’s ratings have been A1.
When the Arizona Cardinals drafted troubled LSU S/RS Tyrann Mathieu, the NFL world froze.
Tremendous hype engulfed Mathieu, and according to GM Steve Keim, Mathieu has been “outstanding.” He has exceeded expectations thus far.
Flashing back to LSU, Mathieu played all over the defense. Primarily as a cornerback, Mathieu was a ballhawk who displayed streaks of unparalleled explosiveness.
Mathieu’s ballhawking skills will be heavily utilized while playing the safety position. The biggest concern for the 5’9″, 186-pounder, however, is his size.
If he played nickelback, he would not be absorbing as many brutal, punishing hits that a safety has to take. Most tackles/hits a safety makes fueled by extended running starts, whereas nickelback tackles are frequently short, 2-yard bursts.
Mathieu will have to battle CB/RS Patrick Peterson for a return position job. Peterson is elusive and dynamic, and the preseason will help dictate which former LSU Tiger receives the return starting nod.
As long as Mathieu can play smart and stay healthy, his impact will be felt in the pros.