According to a report by USA Today's Jarrett Bell, former LSU defensive back, Tyrann Mathieu, told NFL coaches during his combine interviews that he failed a double-digit amount of drug tests (Editor's Note: read the whole article, it is a very good profile). Bell quoted an unnamed NFL assistant coach saying that Mathieu told him that he "quit counting after 10," when asked how many drug tests he failed. The source said Mathieu did not know how many times he failed before LSU suspended him.
Mathieu became a Heisman finalist in 2011, but was kicked out of LSU shortly after. He has versatility and play-making ability that coaches and fans covet, but has proven to have trouble off the football field. Mathieu says he has kicked his marijuana habit and that he has not smoked since October. He reportedly has been training with former teammate and Arizona Cardinal Pro Bowler, Patrick Peterson, in Florida to get ready for the pros this summer.
Mathieu has been very forthcoming about his "addiction" to marijuana both in the press and evidently in job interviews. While being honest is commendable, you have to wonder whether his past actions still have coaches and general managers shaking their heads. Also, it says something about the LSU program and their stance on substance abuse, by letting a then-teenager cheat the NCAA and the team's system. Add that to the fact that Sam Montgomery has been quoted saying he and his teammates bet on stats of their games, it leaves you questioning any of the talent coming out of Les Miles' program. You would think these quotes would lead to some sort of investigation when the NCAA is performing "witch hunts" on schools like Miami and Syracuse.
With all of that said, Mathieu and Montegomery are both legal adults and should know better. I understand that Mathieu came from a tough neighborhood in New Orleans, but if he was really trying to dismiss the wild "Honeybadger" moniker, you would think he could drop the stupid haircut, right? Also, don't you think he would have shown a little bit more explosion after having an entire year to prepare for the Combine?
While he could turn out to be the Janoris Jenkins or Vontaze Burfict of this class, there still has to be a worry about him going down the path of "Pacman" Jones. There is a lot to compare there. Whether it is the odd hairdo, the off the field issues, the ridiculous nickname or even the position, but Mathieu has a chance to learn from Adam Jones' mistakes. For the team that is picking him, they better hope that is the case.
Would you take Mathieu in the 2nd round with all the risks surrounding him? Would you take him in the 3rd?