USA TODAY Sports
At the 2013 NFL Combine, LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu seized an opportunity to boost his draft stock.
The NFL Scouting Combine came to a close this week in Indianapolis. The annual event was held at Lucas Oil Stadium from Saturday, February 23rd to Tuesday, February 26th. This was a great opportunity for prospects to put on a show, answering any questions surrounding their stock.
Naturally, there were certain risers and fallers.
Of the notables to boost his draft stock was LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu. This was a huge event for the troubled defender who was exiled from one of the most prestigious football programs in the NCAA. He needed to show up, not only on the field, but in the interviews.
There were attendees like Deion Sanders that were simply blown away by Mathieu.
Deion Sanders went down to Florida to work with and interview Tyrann Mathieu. Sanders: I came out convinced he is a leader #NFLCombine— NFL Media PR (@InsideNFLMedia) February 26, 2013
Mathieu portrayed high character, and it was relayed through Sanders' sentiments. He seemed to be focused, driven and ready to pick up where he left off. This was one of the most decorated defenders in college football -- the only knock on him was his off-the-field persona.
After enduring some adversity, he may have come through stronger than ever. He is determined to earn the trust of those around him and wants to be a great player. There is a new mentality and work ethic about him that has scouts doing a double-take now.
And he backed it up with his field drills at the combine. Here are Tyrann Mathieu's results from the 2013 scouting combine:
40-time: 4.50 sec (4.43 unofficial)
Vertical Jump: 34.0 inch
Broad Jump: 117.0 inch
Shuttle: 4.14 sec
3-cone drill: 6.87 sec
It turns out that Mathieu is an inch bigger than people thought. A lot of folks had him pegged around 5'8 -- and he's still undersized -- but he's close to double-digit inches. And aside from his height and weight, Mathieu showed he can move real well.
He was flying on his wa7 to posting a 4.5 40-yard dash at the combine. At this point, his speed will not be a question on draft day. So, on top of his newfound character, he proved he can still run, he can jump and he has the ball skills to be a difference-maker.
After being projected to go in between rounds 5-7, Mathieu is now earning early-to-mid round consideration. All it takes is one team to fall in love with him, so don't be surprised to see him taken as early as the third round.