Manti Te’o Less Than Stellar at the Combine

By: Justin Pawlowski

There has been much discussion as to if the hoax surrounding Manti Te’o would affect his draft status.

Not many people have questioned whether it would be his lack of ideal measurables or elite qualities that might drop him on draft day.

There is no discounting that Te’o was a very good player on Notre Dame’s defense, but in an era where linebackers are not valued as highly as in years past, one has to wonder why there has been so much hype surrounding Te’o.

Earlier in the weekend, there were multiple reports that the concerns with Te’o was whether he had the size to truly play inside linebacker.  At 6’1” 242 lbs, Te’o seems to have decent size, but not great.

If he doesn’t have that elite size that teams are looking for, then he better have good speed.

Te’o’s official 40-yard dash time at the combine was a 4.82.  To put that in perspective, of the 25 other linebackers who ran the 40-yard dash, only 6 linebackers had a slower 40-time than Te’o.

Te’o also looked stiff in position drills.

I do not believe Te’o is a 1st round caliber player.  That does not mean he is not a very good “football player”, but if you’re a linebacker that’s considered a 1st round pick, you better have elite qualities that lead to you usually being a dynamic pass rusher.

For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, I would only consider Te’o if he dropped to my pick in round 2.  There are just too many questions with Te’o’s measurables, the hoax, and the trust factor.

For updates on the Buccaneers off-season moves in free agency and the NFL Draft, be sure to follow Justin Pawlowski and 98.7 The Fan on twitter.

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