Kevin C. Cox
If you made a list of the Eagles weaknesses right now, there's no doubt that safety would come up somewhere in the top 3. Corner may also find it's way in there if one or both of the starters leave after this season. Either way, I think we are all hoping to see the Eagles make some upgrades to their secondary this offseason. One such upgrade could potentially be, the Honey Badger.
Former LSU defensive back Tyrann Mathieu will reportedly enter the 2013 NFL draft rather than go back to college.
Mathieu did not play for LSU this year after he was kicked off the team for a failed drug test. He's also been arrested for possession and reportedly warned by the program. So there's obvious character concerns. However...
But before everything went bad for Mathieu, he was the talk of college football. In just two seasons, he broke LSU's career record for forced fumbles and had a penchant for big punt returns. He amassed 133 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, four interceptions and forced 11 fumbles. He won the Bednarik Award and was a Heisman Trophy finalist. He was a Heisman favorite before the notion Johnny Football or undefeated Notre Dame even existed.
The man the call the "Honey Badger" was a game changer. Not only as a defensive player but as a punt returner as well, two areas where the Eagles are desperate for an upgrade. He spent time at both safety and corner, but I think for this Eagles team he has the potential be as close to a Troy Polamalu, Brian Dawkins type safety as we've seen in several years. He certainly doesn't have the high character of those players, but his performance on the field in college absolutely puts him in that company.
Now the question is, if you do like him where would you take him? By all accounts, the Eagles will likely be picking way too high to reach on a guy like Matthews. But might someone take a chance on him later in the first? 2nd? 3rd? Are we looking at a guy that slips to the late rounds? It's very hard to tell where a guy this talented, once seen as a Heisman favorite, but with so many problems and who didn't even play football this year will end up.