There's so much talk about draft stock and how other players match up to the teams that desire them it becomes tiring to hear. Players lose stock when something occurs off the field, they don't have the best pro day, or combine, etc. However, this has nothing to do with their play on the field during in-game situations. Which is what they're drafting them for to begin with. See: Stephen Garcia and how many chances USC and Steve Spurrier gave him, before he started becoming less than average and they cut him for "Off Field Incidents." Funny, they sure didn't mind the incidents when they were winning and he was a top 15 QB in the NCAA.
The point I'm trying to make is, football has gotten so caught up in prediciting statistical outcomes of talent, factoring almost everything in except the players actual ability during the game. "Oh, this player had a bad combine.." Who cares? He threw for 4,000 yards in college. Or he led the league in sacks for 2 straight years. "Yeah, but he's not draft ready. He'll fall to the third round, at least." And then lead the NFL in catches his rookie season.
The NFL needs to go back to evaluating raw talent when they see it. This is why I personally think the Jets should take CB Tyrann Mathieu, "The Honey Badger" with their second round pick (39th Overall). If one has ever seen Mathieu play, there isn't much of an argument that needs to be made. In 2011, the former Heisman Trophy runner-up and All-American, led his LSU team with 70 tackles, had 6 forced fumbles, 2 of which were returned for touchdowns, 7.5 tackles for loss totalling 45 yards, 1.5 sacks, and 2 interceptions. Not to mention he was also LSU's punt return man, avergaing 15.59 yards a return (good for 4th in the NCAA) with 2 TDs on the season.
Unfortunatley, 2012 was a lost season due to a drug violation that occured during the summer. Les Miles, the current coach of LSU, decided it would be better to dismiss him for the year, rather than getting the NCAA involved. But you know the saying, "Honey Badger Don't Care" and Tyrann opted for the NFL draft instead of going back to LSU. He has since gone to rehabilitation for the substance abuse, even stating that he knew his marijuana was a problem.
"I decided to go to a rehab, but at this time the rehab was for Tyrann. I just wasn't going to [rehab] for publicity or because my school told me to go," Mathieu said. "I actually went to get my problem corrected." Via USA Today.
That statement says a lot about his maturity and growth over the last year. If he has what it takes to overcome his personal demons, there's no reason his mental toughness shouldn't carry him to success in the NFL.The biggest and only real flaw in Mathieu's game is his press coverage, which is why I believe if drafted, he should be converted to a free safety. In 2011, Mathieu was more quick than actually fast, having trouble staying with certain receivers, getting burned here and there, and requiring safety help. Still, the pros far outweigh the cons when it comes to the 5'9, 186lbs defensive back. With all the stunts and tricky coverage the Jets possess, he would thrive inside a Rex Ryan defense for years to come.
And for those of you that don't know why he's called, "The Honey Badger," just search "Honey Badger" on YouTube, but I do warn you. It pretty much sums up his character on the field.