Tyran Mathieu has been called many things over his illustrious career as "The Honey Badger" at LSU. Perhaps most aptly described however, is his "playmaker" moniker, which illustrates exactly what he can bring to a defense.
In a league where offenses often go three wide, is it really absurd to draft a nickel corner high? A guy who uses uncanny instincts and a nose for the ball to overcome some height and speed shortcomings? I really don't think so. Mathieu is ridiculous. The dude can play. I don't care what his forty time is, and I don't care what his height/weight/speed ratio ends up being. The guy knows the angles, has a nose for the ball, and can make huge plays happen when his team needs it most. Additionally, he adds tremendous special teams value.
In this league, you need as many playmakers as you can get, so if I'm looking at him in the late first or second round, I figure why not risk my pick on a guy who captures the attention of all fans who witness his skills.
True, he needs to stop smoking weed. True, teams need to do their homework to make sure they aren't getting a player who will be suspended more than he'll be on the field, but if I'm Miami, Carolina, Baltimore, Atlanta, or a team like New Orleans who needs playmakers on defense, why not roll the dice on a guy who plays with unprecedented intensity and instincts, hoping that the existing leadership can keep him in line?
I know he's had issues, and I know many don't agree, but this playmaker is a guy I want on my team. I would trust my ability to surround him with solid influences, and look forward to reaping the rewards of a motivated Honey Badger terrorizing opposing slot receivers and getting me five picks and two forced fumbles his rookie year. A boom or bust guy, I'm happy to gamble on the high motor knuckle head over anyone else. Prove me right Tyrann, playmaker extraordinaire that you are!