Tyrann Mathieu made strides in rebuilding his brand with a standout physical performance last month at the NFL Scouting Combine.
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Despite that, Mathieu knows his draft hopes come down to how successfully he can convey to NFL teams that he has kicked the off-the-field issues that derailed his college career at LSU.
Speaking with NFL Network's Andrew Siciliano on Thursday, Mathieu recalled an aggressive meeting by the New England Patriots.
"They only had about two people in the room, but it was tough, man," Mathieu said on "NFL Total Access."
Siciliano asked for specifics of the conversation, and Mathieu said the Patriots officials -- and we're sure officials from other teams --- asked why he couldn't stop using marijuana.
"At the time, I didn't know why I couldn't stop," he said. "I think I was addicted to it. I had formed a true habit of it, but I think looking back on it, I couldn't stop because I didn't want to."
Mathieu's efforts at selling himself as a changed man will go straight to the draft. It's the most important thing he can do.
"I think those people understand that I can play football, I'm a pretty good football player," he said. "But I think they want to get to know the Tyrann the person so they can help me in the future."
Teams only will be interested in helping Mathieu if they believe he can help them. While his size is an issue, Mathieu showed at the combine that he has the speed and agility to compete at the next level. Whether or not he's worth the risk is the question teams will ask themselves.