After falling into the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft, Tyrann Mathieu promised to prove everybody wrong. He’s off to a quick start in Cardinals training camp.
If reports of his performance are accurate, Mathieu is beginning to look like 2013’s answer to Janoris Jenkins. Jenkins, scored more defensive touchdowns than any player in the league as a rookie last season after plummeting into the later rounds of the draft due to character concerns in 2012.
When he’s not intercepting joints at the crib Mathieu is a ball hawking defensive back with a nose for the ball, but his dismissal from LSU for failing more than 10 drug tests in addition to concerns over his size drowned his draft stock.
However, he’s quickly re-establishing himself in Arizona in the absence of Adrian Wilson and Kerry Rhodes and being paired with former LSU teammate Patrick Peterson in the secondary should do wonders for his support network in Arizona.
One NFL scout told ArizonaSports.com that Mathieu was, "pound-for-pound, the best player on the field" and that "No. 32 was going to change the team."
Draft analysts praised Mathieu for his natural football instincts, so it should be no surprise that he's already comfortable at cornerback, safety and nickelback in coordinator Todd Bowles' defense.
"Tyrann is getting his hands on a lot of balls," quarterback Carson Palmer said recently. "He's so quick and explosive in and out of breaks and reading concepts and knowing coverages and weaknesses in where we're trying to throw the ball."