Mathieu can play cover safety as well as anyone in the league, and can even move to outside corner in a pinch, but it's his slot play as much as anything that makes him special. Mathieu is an aggressive gambler who baits receivers into believing they have a chance at the ball, only to close in at the last millisecond with his freakish athleticism and ever-improving game intelligence. He'll whiff once in a while, but Arizona's coaching staff encourages him to let it all hang out, and when he's healthy, the Cardinals reap the benefits. There isn’t a receiver in the NFL he can't keep up with on a step-for-step basis.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.