You would think when a player throws a draft party, especially proclaiming it a “1st Round Pick Draft Party,” they would want to be sure they were going to be a 1st round selection. Not so the case for one Tyrann “Honey Badger” Mathieu, the former cornerback of the LSU Tigers.
Mathieu, who was highly heralded during and after his Sophomore season at LSU, where he was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, has decided to invite all of his friends and family to a party on Thursday to see him get drafted. The only problem with that? Most draft pundits have Mathieu no higher than a 3rd round pick; some have him not being picked at all.
Some would argue Mathieu wasn’t even the best defensive back on that LSU team. Morris Claiborne would be the player most scouts would look at and say was the better of the two corners. In fact, Claiborne would be the #24 overall pick by the Dallas Cowboys following the 2011 season; the same season Mathieu was a Heisman finalist (Mathieu was a sophomore and not eligible for the NFL Draft).
Now, over a year later, Mathieu is eligible for the draft, and coming off a season in which he didn’t even play. LSU Head Coach Les Miles kicked Honey Badger off the football team prior to the 2012 season for a “violation of team rules.” Many skeptics would say it was for a series of failed drug tests.
That brings us back to the 2013 NFL Draft. As was stated before, many draft scouts have Tyrann no higher than a 3rd round pick, and some not drafted at all. It has nothing to do with his talent level; he has proven himself on the field.
His draft stock has everything to do with his off the field issues. Can he stay clean? Will he repeatedly get himself into trouble? We have seen time and time again where players draft stock plummets or they don’t get picked at all because of their off field struggles.
This “1st Round Draft Party” that Mathieu is throwing for himself could also be labeled another black eye on his draft stock. While still at LSU, he was on the NCAA radar for showing up on flyers for nightclub parties, an NCAA violation. This doesn’t really help his reputation any.
But, that is all fine and well. Mathieu is a grown man now, capable of making his own decisions. This decision, however, was probably one somebody should have talked Honey Badger out of.