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Questions remain for Mathieu despite impressive Pro Day

The SportsXchange

Tyrann Mathieu didn't really change anything with his extraordinary workout at LSU's Pro Day Wednesday.

Once again the little (5-foot-8 3/4, 186-pounds) former LSU defensive back made a huge impression despite only taking part in position drills. He decided to stand on his performance at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis in the 40-yard dash (best of 4.46 seconds) and vertical jump (34 inches).

There is little doubt about his skills on the football field. He shows a combination of explosion, agile grace and a rare instinct to get to the ball. He was a Heisman Trophy finalist in 2011.

But it is his performance off the field that might prevent the former "Honey Badger" from being a very high draft pick, perhaps even a first rounder.

Off-field issues caused Mathieu to miss the entire 2012 season after being kicked off the team for testing positive for marijuana in August. Then in October, he was arrested and charged with marijuana possession.

But now he insists he has been clean for four months and another former star defensive back, Deion Sanders, is constantly praising Mathieu.

Sanders thinks Mathieu would be a steal after the first round, although most discussion puts him in the third.

"He is all that and more," Sanders said. "He is a playmaker, a game-changer. He told me he is clean and I think he is going for it in the NFL. Believe in him. He is worth it."

However, NFL Network's Mike Mayock is more restrained

"I don't think he's going to go in the first two rounds. That's my gut, and from talking to teams, it's kind of a third- or fourth-round pick. That's what I'm hearing," Mayock said.

But, as they say, it only takes one team. And in that regard, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reported Wednesday that the Texans are interested and want Mathieu to visit.
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