Enter the Honey Badger!
Matt Barrows is reporting that a league source informed him Tyrann Mathieu will visit with the 49ers on April 9. We know draft visits don't guarantee anything for anybody, but with a relatively limited number of visits, this would seem to show at least a modicum of interest from the 49ers.
We know that a lot of 49ers fans are interested in Mathieu, but we also know Mathieu has said he would like to play for the 49ers. Obviously that's just a TMZ video, but it's still interesting to consider a potential matchup of Mathieu and the 49ers. We've had a couple different posts on it, since we do have to feed the frenzy! Last month we had a Tyran Mathieu scouting report, and we followed that up earlier this month with some discussion on how Mathieu could fit from a character standpoint.
If the 49ers are going to take a grab at him, they will have to figure out how high they are willing to go. Mike Mayock sees him as a potential third or fourth round pick, but unlikely to get into round two. As is often said, it only takes one team liking a player for him to go way too early. I don't expect the 49ers to be that team, but you never know.
Mathieu had a chance to talk about how teams view him as a contributor, and he is getting a mix of possibilities:
"Different teams have different things in mind. There's been a lot of teams that have said, ‘We want you to come in and be our third cornerback, play a certain percentage of plays and return kicks for us.' But there's other teams that want me to come in there and actually fight for a starting cornerback position. So I have that in mind. I want to go out there and be the best cornerback I can be. ... My biggest thing is I just want to put on a helmet again."
Herm Edwards had a few comments about Mathieu as well. Herm has become a bit of a joke at times with ESPN's all around nonsense, but it is worth noting he was a great cornerback back in the day, and he made his coaching bones on the defense side of the ball:
This kid is very interesting. On the one hand, he's a difference-maker because he has terrific instincts and takes the ball away (10 turnovers in two college seasons). On the other, he has had a number of off-field issues. The bottom line is that with his size (5-foot-9) and average speed (4.50 40-yard dash), he doesn't project as a three-down cornerback. Mathieu isn't fundamentally sound, either, and he plays a lot with his eyes. That can get him into trouble, especially on double moves at the NFL level. Still, it's hard to see a team not taking a third-round flier on him.
So, who wants to see the Honey Badger playing for the 49ers?