When I see Tyrann Mathieu, the electric cornerback and punt returner from LSU, I see Vontaze Burfict, the linebacker from Arizona State that now plays for the Cincinnati Bengals. I see a first round talent that is likely to drop low, or completely off, the draft board due to character concerns. In Mathieu's case, it mostly has to do with failing drug tests and subsequently being kicked off the team, which is obviously worse than Burfict's poor attitude. Mathieu, known as the "Honey Badger," is the definition of a playmaker and someone that I would love to see on the New York Jets.
Burfict is already a starting linebacker for the Bengals, and I see a similar trajectory for Mathieu, if he's taken by the right coach. He will be phenomenal in the slot, which is basically a starting position with the increase in spread offenses. In addition, as I mentioned, he's electric as a returner.
There aren't a ton of coaches that could take Mathieu and turn him around. Rex Ryan (assuming he's still here next year, as he likely will be) is one of those guys. Remember those character concerns with Quinton Coples? Nobody talks of them any more, just of how much better he's getting each week. As much trouble as the media gives the Jets, they have one of the lowest arrest records in the league. When it comes to the law, which is the issue with Mathieu, they generally stay within the lines and keep their nose clean. This is one of the few teams that can work with players with character concerns, and keep them under controlled. We wouldn't be having this conversation if we were the Detroit Lions.
It's obviously early, but I might not be opposed (depending on the terms) to trading Kyle Wilson, getting some draft picks, and bringing in the Honey Badger in the later rounds to replace him. Talk about a low-risk, high-reward situation.
Feel free to watch some of his clips here.
Update: I added a poll in. Here is a phenomenal article on Mathieu by Mocking the Draft.