Cardinals take NFL draft gamble on LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu

LSU defensive back Tyrann Mathieu goes through a drill at the NFL combine.
(Joe Robbins / Getty Images)

Tyrann Mathieu, Louisiana State’s big-play defensive back known as the “Honey Badger,” will join former Tigers stars Patrick Peterson and Kevin Minter in Arizona after the Cardinals used a third-round pick on the troubled star Friday.

Mathieu, the runner-up in the 2011 Heisman Trophy voting, did not play last season after he was kicked off the LSU football team by Coach Les Miles for repeatedly failing drug tests.

Peterson, an all-pro cornerback and friend of Mathieu, was selected with the fifth overall pick two years ago by the Cardinals, who used a second-round choice Friday on Minter, an all-SEC linebacker and Butkus Award finalist.

Mathieu, only 5 feet 9 and 186 pounds, said in a televised interview with ESPN that he’s ready to prove he can stay clean while performing on the field.


“Whatever it is, I’m ready for it,” Mathieu said. “I’m ready to go back out there ... show everybody that I’m ready to play.”

Mathieu was very emotional when the interview began.

“Seven months ago I didn’t think I would be in this situation,” Mathieu said as he began to tear up. “I had everything taken away from me. I kept pushing, fighting. I’m just so happy somebody else had faith in me believed in me.”



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