The New York Jets have spoken with Tyrann Mathieu, who is preparing for the 2013 NFL Draft after not playing football this past season due to off-the-field troubles. Throughout the 2011 college football season, America fell in love with Tyrann Mathieu as the LSU defensive back made a run at the Heisman Trophy with his game changing plays. The Honey Badger always seemed to come up with a big play when LSU needed it most, whether on defense or returning a punt, as the Tigers made it through the regular season undefeated and earned a trip to the National Championship. Now, 32 NFL teams will weigh the risks associated with taking him in the 2013 NFL Draft against the potential reward.
With the recent talk around the New York Jets involving a possible Darrelle Revis trade, the Tyrann Mathieu situation becomes a bit more interesting. We know that the Jets have talked to Tyrann Mathieu. We know the Jets have at least had internal discussions about trading Darrelle Revis. We also know that with or without Darrelle Revis, the Jets are looking at the 2013 NFL Draft as a critical one, being that it the first with John Idzik as general manager and knowing that the team will be limited in free agency.
Tyrann Mathieu is best suited as a nickel cornerback and punt returner. Rex Ryan loves to blitz from the slot, and that's something Tyrann Mathieu excels at. He isn't big enough to play on the outside, but he has the ability to make an impact covering inside receivers. If the Jets do deal Darrelle Revis away, Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson could man the outside with Tyrann Mathieu serving as the nickel corner.
Beyond that, Tyrann Mathieu would give the team another playmaker on special teams. Jeremy Kerley is a good punt returner, but he seemed hesitant at times to actually return the punt. The Jets led the NFL in fair catches. For better or worse, Tyrann Mathieu is generally fearless back there and is always looking to break a big return. For a team that lacks big play ability, that attitude would be welcomed.
Tyrann Mathieu would be a natural fit for Rex Ryan and the Jets defense and would also bring some big play ability to the special teams units. He's definitely worth a mid-to-late round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
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