Updated May 3, 2013 - 4:26 pm
SI writer thinks Tyrann Mathieu can be 'impactful' with Cardinals
Mathieu, who finished fifth in the 2011 Heisman Trophy balloting, did not play in 2012 after being kicked off the LSU roster by head coach Les Miles. Mathieu had failed repeated drug tests which led to his dismissal. Following an abbreviated stay in a drug treatment center, Mathieu and three other former LSU players were arrested for possession of marijuana.
Needless to say, there is a good amount of risk in investing a high draft pick on a talented but troubled player like Mathieu.
But Stewart Mandel, who covers college football for Sports Illustrated, knows exactly why the Cardinals took that risk.
"During the draft, when he got picked and they showed the highlights, for me, it was like a trip down memory lane," Mandel told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 620 Friday. "I had forgotten just how exciting a player he was in the 2011 season. LSU went to the national title game and he was one of the central figures of it."
The Cardinals will rely on Mathieu's former LSU teammates Patrick Peterson and Kevin Minter to mentor him and keep him walking a clean path. If they can, Mandel believes Mathieu will have a productive career in the desert.
"I just really hope he's got the right support around him to keep him out of trouble, and if he does, I think he can be a tremendously impactful player -- at the very least on special teams or as a returner and possibly also as a corner or safety," Mandel said.
Vince Marotta, Co-host - Bickley & Marotta, Web Content Editor - ArizonaSports.com
- Arizona Cardinals linebacker Larry Foote says defense is good enough to overcome Darnell Dockett injury
- Notes from the Nest: Aug. 22, 2014
- Arizona Cardinals' DE Calais Campbell: Dockett injury 'sucks,' others need to step up
- A game-time decision, Jonathan Cooper going through learning experience with Arizona Cardinals
- Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington bulks up in anticipation of harder hits this season
- Peter King, SI.com senior NFL writer - Friday August 22Peter King thinks Carson Palmer could have a big year for the Cardinals.
- Michael Floyd, Cardinals wide receiver - Friday August 22Michael Floyd says he thinks he can be the best wide receiver in the NFL.
- Jared Veldheer, Cardinals tackle - Friday August 22Jared Veldheer talks about his road from a Division II college to the NFL.
- Bob McManaman- Arizona Republic senior sportswriter - Friday August 22Bob McManaman believes that Jay Feely is in danger of getting cut from the Cardinals.
- Andre Ellington- Cardinals running back - Friday August 22Andre Ellington looks forward to a break out year with the Arizona Cardinals.