INDIANAPOLIS -- Tyrann Mathieu came to the NFL Scouting Combine with the intention of losing his "Honey Badger" moniker and proving to teams that he's not as slow as his reputation. Consider the second goal accomplished.
The former LSU cornerback posted an official time of 4.50 seconds in the 40-yard dash Tuesday. That's not as quick as potential top-five draft pick Dee Milliner, but it's still fast enough for a slot cornerback like Mathieu.
As Evan Silva of Rotoworld pointed out, it's a little surprising there was so much concern about Mathieu's speed. Back when he still was "Honey Badger," Mathieu ran down speedsters like Tavon Austin and Chris Rainey from behind. Mathieu always has been seen as a better football player than an athlete. His instincts and playmaking ability will get him drafted.
Mathieu's speedy time shows he's not a bad athlete, either. He received somewhat more mixed reviews in the position drills on Tuesday, but he did a terrific job catching the football. No defensive back looked more natural snatching balls out of the air. One concern for NFL teams: Mathieu was only able to bench 225 pounds four times. The lack of strength is less of a concern than the possibility he just wasn't working very hard in the weight room.
Still, the 40 time should help Mathieu. If the St. Louis Rams could look past Janoris Jenkins' off-the-field troubles in the draft's second round last year, I would be surprised if a team can't look past Mathieu's troubles in the third round this year.Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.