Truth & Rumors > NFL

Manti Te'o draft status was in doubt before hoax

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06:25 PM ET 02.25 | The first step in moving away from the hoax was fielding questions about it, something Te'o did pretty well this weekend. The second step was to actually prove he's got the talent to be a first-round pick by putting his skills on display for scouts in Indianapolis. Te'o ran his 40-yard dash on Monday and the result was an unofficial 4.81. In case you're not familiar with how 40-times are judged, a 4.81 for a linebacker is not good. Having a fake girlfriend wasn't the only thing Te'o had to worry about heading into the combine. His last performance of his college football career came in the National Championship game against Alabama and it was as unimpressive as his 40-yard dash time at the combine. After having a Heisman Trophy-worthy season, Te'o disappeared in the Irish's biggest game and the doubting of his talents began there.

Fansided

Manti Te'o, Getty Images/Joe Robbins Manti Te'o, Getty Images/Joe Robbins
February 25, 2013  10:10 PM ET

IT'S TE'O TIME. Like I was the only guy thinking it!!!!

February 25, 2013  10:13 PM ET
QUOTE(#1):

IT'S TE'O TIME. Like I was the only guy thinking it!!!!

He even kinda looks like an Asian Tebow.

it's uncanny, the similarities. Super religious, somewhat naive, huge amounts of National attention, many questions about how successful they'll be in the NFL, etc.

It's odd.

But I'm still rooting for both of those dudes to ultimately succeed. The world needs more good guys succeeding, IMO. I'm tired of seeing all the doooosh bags on top.

February 25, 2013  10:34 PM ET

If the tight ends are running 4.4s and 4.5s he's gonna get burned over and over again. Many guys play faster than their 40 times but the Alabama game might just be a sneak preview of what's in store for this guy. I think I'd have to pass on him.

February 25, 2013  10:36 PM ET
QUOTE(#3):

If the tight ends are running 4.4s and 4.5s he's gonna get burned over and over again. Many guys play faster than their 40 times but the Alabama game might just be a sneak preview of what's in store for this guy. I think I'd have to pass on him.

A smart linebacker can compensate for a lack of speed. Positioning, for one, can help immensely.

Slow LB's can succeed in the NFL. Not saying Teo is a guarantee, but a bad 40 time certainly shouldn't be a death knell for him.

February 25, 2013  11:42 PM ET

The can't make this up, this guy is on a crash course to failure, he better get back in the gym and away from the press, or he goes in the 7th round if he's lucky, who wants a guy who doesn't show up at a Championship game, can't run and creates a story of a girlfriend that died, he's got a lot of baggage that he has to rid himself of, it all starts and ends in the gym!!!

February 26, 2013  12:07 AM ET

Teo can thank NBC for his Heisman hype because he wouldn't have been a starter on some teams, like Georgia, LSU and probably anyone in the SEC. I can't imagine him getting drafted until round 3 unless Josh McDaniels is a HC somewhere.

February 26, 2013  01:57 AM ET

regardless of his alleged skills....he just does not seem right in the head......you need your players to not cause those kind of concerns.

February 26, 2013  06:35 AM ET

Te'o was told that he'd be taken in the first round. He was told this for years by someone over the telephone and online, but never in-person. One day, he found out that the mystery draft overseer had died. Sure enough, on draft day, he found out that the person never really existed and he went in one of the subsequent rounds.

Comment #9 has been removed
February 26, 2013  07:59 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

A smart linebacker can compensate for a lack of speed. Positioning, for one, can help immensely.Slow LB's can succeed in the NFL. Not saying Teo is a guarantee, but a bad 40 time certainly shouldn't be a death knell for him.

well, another knock on him is that he has been described as being out of position and taking bad angles....sounds like he isn't smart either...and that's based on football, not his belief that a dude on the phone was his girlfriend...

February 26, 2013  08:00 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

Te'o was told that he'd be taken in the first round. He was told this for years by someone over the telephone and online, but never in-person. One day, he found out that the mystery draft overseer had died. Sure enough, on draft day, he found out that the person never really existed and he went in one of the subsequent rounds.

I am starting to wonder if teams will pass completely and he may go undrafted...who wants to invite that kind of distraction into a lockerroom? Even if he was a good player, wouldn't the potential disruption caused by some players thinking he's gay be enough to say "not worth it"...?

February 26, 2013  08:11 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

The can't make this up, this guy is on a crash course to failure, he better get back in the gym and away from the press, or he goes in the 7th round if he's lucky, who wants a guy who doesn't show up at a Championship game, can't run and creates a story of a girlfriend that died, he's got a lot of baggage that he has to rid himself of, it all starts and ends in the gym!!!

I agree with your gym/work statement. Problem with that is it should have started when he was about 15 years old and never let up. There's no cramming for the test ahead for this guy. If he's not fast, not big, not smart, not strong (he didn't do the bench because of a shoulder injury) and a head case why in the world would anyone spend serious money on him?

February 26, 2013  08:36 AM ET
QUOTE(#11):

I am starting to wonder if teams will pass completely and he may go undrafted...who wants to invite that kind of distraction into a lockerroom? Even if he was a good player, wouldn't the potential disruption caused by some players thinking he's gay be enough to say "not worth it"...?

There is no way he will go undrafted.

While being gay in today's world is not much of a big deal, I imagine it still would be in an NFL locker room. I don't care what the players on my team have going on, but I wouldn't want my team to be the first guinea pig for a gay player in the locker room, with all the hoopla, media, etc.

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