'Honey Badger' adds to Cards' secondary
April, 26, 2013
By Mike Sando | ESPN.com
The Arizona Cardinals have built their secondary around former LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson. They've got another ex-Tigers corner after adding Tyrann Mathieu -- also known as "Honey Badger" for his tenacious playing style -- with the 69th overall choice Friday.
Mathieu projects as a slot corner, a position of increasing importance in the NFL as offenses lean on the passing game. The Cardinals will have to deal with St. Louis' Tavon Austin and Seattle's Percy Harvin, two quick slot players recently added to Arizona's NFC West rivals.
Mathieu reportedly failed to show up for a pre-draft workout with Seattle. Scouts have described him as a high-risk, high-reward prospect, with concerns relating to his maturity. Mathieu was kicked off the team at LSU, reportedly for drug-related reasons. He has a marijuana-related arrest on his record.
Mathieu should bring attitude and ability to the Cardinals' secondary. It's up to the team's coaching staff -- and Mathieu himself -- to maximize the investment.
Update: Coach Bruce Arians subsequently told reporters in Arizona that Mathieu would play free safety initially.