When the 2011 Heisman finalists came out all the talk was about the battle of future franchise QBs, Luck vs RG3. They battled each other all year for the top player in college football but there was another name on that list that turned heads just as much. Only a sophomore Tyrann Mathieu was already a legend. The Honeybadger was much watch TV on Saturdays, he had all the talent and the charisma to go all with it. Heading into his junior year Mathieu had it all in front on him, don’t screw up and another Heisman run was in his sights along with first round money coming his way.
Then it all changed, the Honeybadger wouldn’t see the college field again and the thought of playing in the NFL was a long shot. Tyrann could not get out of is own way. Was the pressure too much or did he just not care? I think it was more of the latter, he was star and thought he was untouchable. We have seen this too often with college players recently.
Mathieu sought out the help he needed but it still was unknown if he was only doing it because people told him he needed to or if he finally begin to realize he did need help. As the months went on the scouts were still curious, talent like that doesn’t go away and in the world of the NFL there is always second, third and fourth chances. Tyrann just needed to know where that chance was coming from and the Cardinals came knocking.
Arizona selected Mathieu in the 3rd round with the 69th pick. This was the best thing for the Mathieu, not Honeybadger anymore, because Arizona has Patrick Peterson. Peterson, another CB from LSU, is on his way to be the best CB in all of football and his knew he needed to step up as a leader this season. Under the wings of Peterson, Mathieu is one the best rookies in the NFL. He is playing a lot nickel and safety for the 7-4 Cardinals, who now have one of the best defensives in the NFL.
Mathieu has the league on notice, his big play ability has shown up more then once this year and teams are beginning to shy away from throwing to his side already. He may not win Rookie of the year but he should be in the discussion. Together Mathieu and Peterson, Arizona’s secondary is one to be feared. With the help of Larry Fitz, the Cardinals may have the playoffs in their future and teams will look at the gutsy selection of the Tyrann Mathieu as a big reason why.