When Tyrann Mathieu parted ways with LSU and their football program, I was stunned.
How could it be? Mathieu, one of the nation’s top collegiate football players, being dismissed by his elite LSU football squad? As a big fan of his, I couldn’t believe it.
Later, however, I realized why the SEC-powerhouse made the decision that they did. Mathieu reportedly suffered from a huge marijuana problem, and had failed well over 10 drug tests during his time in Louisiana with his school.
It was sad to see such a prolific football player seemingly throw away his entire future and career because of substance abuse, but in reality, it happens a lot in sports. And some players let it bring them down totally, and others bounce back.
Mathieu bounced back.
He declared for the 2013 NFL Draft and began extensive work with himself, while also working out with guys like former LSU standout Patrick Peterson and Hall of Famer Deion Sanders.
The Oakland Raiders had several chances to draft the “Honey Badger” but failed to do so, which I believe will make them regretful in the future.
Mathieu is a stud on the football field. There is absolutely no denying it. During his time at LSU, he made a career off of explosive punt returns, forced fumbles, monstrous hits, and intercepted passes. He was (and still is) a phenomenal playmaker. He’s everywhere on the football field and he is a player that you absolutely have to account for every time you step on the football field.
If you don’t believe me, check out this highlight video of him and then get back to me:
Mathieu is a dynamic playmaker, and that is exactly what the Raiders need. Somebody to step in and make key plays, especially down the stretch, to win football games for the organization.
Another aspect as to why Mathieu would fit in beautifully with the Oakland Raiders is because he is somebody that is desperate to prove himself.
I believe that Mathieu had the clear-cut potential to become a legitimate first-round draft pick in the NFL Draft had he not been dismissed from LSU and had his substance abuse problem. But due to the fact that all of that actually did happen, several teams had their doubts about him, and he suddenly slipped to the third round.
But the bottom line is that Mathieu has a lot of critics and a lot of doubters as to whether or not he has the winning mentality or if he is actually over his drug problem like he has said he is.
He is a guy that has every reason to go out on the NFL field and prove his doubters wrong. To prove to the people that passed up on him that they made a mistake. And when guys go out and play with that mentality, they usually play their hearts out and put their best work forth.
That is exactly what the Raiders need. Another young gun who is ready to play and ready to prove that he is legitimate. It’s sad to me that they passed up on the Mathieu but they had some other solid draft picks, including Houston cornerback D.J. Hayden, who is a bright young prospect with a bright future ahead of him. The Arizona Cardinals should be thankful to have Mathieu joining their organization, as he will also be paired up with one of his closest friends and former teammate, Patrick Peterson.