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Tyrann Mathieu hopes to change minds at Senior Bowl

Senior Bowl week is in full swing in Mobile, Ala., giving coaches and scouts a first-hand look at the nation's top (senior) draft prospects.

So it was interesting to see a junior -- who wasn't even in pads -- grab all the attention Monday.

Tyrann "Honey Badger" Mathieu -- the explosive cornerback and former Heisman Trophy finalist who hasn't played in more than a year -- was on hand to convince NFL teams he's worth the risk. Mathieu was kicked off the LSU team by coach Les Miles prior to this season after reportedly failing a string of drug tests. He was later arrested on charges of marijuana possession, turning one of the NCAA's most intriguing draft prospects into a perceived risk.

Mathieu, who isn't practicing or playing in the annual all-star gala, says there's nothing to worry about.

"I'm healthy," Mathieu told The Miami Herald on Monday. "Everything's in my past. I'm just going to let that stay there and just try to move forward and keep bettering myself.

"I think honesty is going to be my best friend in the next few months. I'm just trying to be honest and as open as possible, look those guys look in my eyes and let those guys know I'm speaking the truth."

Mathieu has agreed to undergo weekly drug tests while training in Florida. His height -- he's 5-foot-9 -- has been talked about, but his blazing speed is alluring. He's a dangerous return man and tantalizing as potential nickel back.

The New York Post reports the Jets, Washington Redskins and Miami Dolphins had contact with Mathieu during Monday's gathering in Mobile, and we'd be surprised if the draft came and went without some NFL team taking a chance.

Mathieu told the Post: "I haven't scripted any answers to any questions. This is the real Tyrann right now."

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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