And cue the sarcastic "Bengals love troubled players" comments. Former LSU defensive back, Tyrann "The Honey Badger" Mathieu, sent out a vague tweet on Friday about a special teams workout session with the Bengals. Aside from this, we have seen very little in the way of official reports about a visit and/or workout between the two parties.
In case you didn't know, Mathieu has had his share of troubles off of the football field. Just two years into his NCAA football career, Mathieu was kicked off of the LSU Tigers squad for repeated failures of drug tests. Even after a stint in rehab, Mathieu was busted for possession of Marijuana and hasn't played organized football since the conclusion of the 2011 season.
Still, Mathieu is extremely talented and has a knack for making big plays. In just two years with the Bayou Bengals, "The Honey Badger" racked up four interceptions, four fumble recoveries, and six sacks. He ran back two of those fumble recoveries for touchdowns and added two more on punt returns. And, as you can see by his tweet, that is one of the aspects that the Bengals apparently had him showcase.
Although he had a poor showing in the bench press at last month's Scouting Combine, the consensus opinion was that people were impressed with Mathieu's workout. He ran a 4.51 in the 40-yard dash and displayed great hands and ball skills in the defensive back drills. He also looked in shape and fluid for a player that hasn't played football for a team since the conclusion of the 2011 season.
Based on his talents and troubles, it's hard to say where Mathieu will get drafted in April. Most agree that he will likely be a mid-round pick though. He projects to be a slot corner or even a smaller safety in the NFL with added value in the return game. Though the Bengals just signed Adam Jones to a three-year deal, they still are toying around with the idea of another returner. If the team doesn't bring back Terence Newman and Brandon Tate, a mid-round flyer could be taken on Mathieu.