Former LSU Tigers star defensive back Tyrann Mathieu (aka the Honey Badger) plans to announce that he will enter the 2013 NFL Draft, Joe Schad of ESPN reported Thursday.
Earlier this month, it was announced that he was moving in with Patrick Peterson’s family in Florida to get away from the madness.
Initially projected as a first-round talent, Mathieu’s draft stock took a serious plunge after the star defender and punt returner was dismissed from the team for arrest on simple marijuana possession.
ESPN draft analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay discussed his draft stock on SportsCenter and each of them expect Mathieu to drop a round or two, putting him in the third to fourth-round range.
McShay cited the pre-draft process of former Florida cornerback Janoris Jenkins, who was selected in the second round (39th overall) by the St. Louis Rams in the 2012 NFL Draft. One difference between the two star DBs is that Jenkins returned to the field at the FCS level his final season at North Alabama and was able to attend the Senior Bowl.
There’s still plenty of time for Mathieu to prove to NFL personnel that he can turn his off-the-field issues around and become a terrific asset to a team at the next level. In 2011, he collected a total of 71 tackles, 1.5 sacks, five forced fumbles (two returned for a touchdown) and two interceptions.
What he makes of the pre-draft process will determine his draft stock heading into April.