Te’o draft stock not necessarily improving

Te’o draft stock not necessarily improving
March 27, 2013, 12:00 pm
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The Bears did not turn out in scouting force to evaluate the pro-day performances of Manti Te’o. That shouldn’t automatically be taken as a reflection of local interest in the Notre Dame linebacker, but other wisps from Te’o’s reviewers suggest that chances are that he may not hear his name called on day one of the NFL draft.

Te’o slightly improved his time in the 40-yard dash. But Jason Cole over at Yahoo Sports checked in with a number of the coaches and scouts attending the pro day and more than one said that Te’o is not a first-round prospect.

Te’o ran 40-yard-dashes in respectable times reported from 4.69 sec. to 4.75 sec., an improvement from the 4.82 he ran at the Scouting Combine, and he bench-pressed 225 pounds 21 times. For purposes of comparison, Brian Urlacher ran a 4.59 at his Combine. Ray Lewis ran in the 4.5’s. Patrick Willis was a 4.51.

[RELATED: Te'o making a (faster) run at NFL Draft]

Te’o is being put in none of their classes. He wants evaluators to focus on his football, which they will. The question is how much that is helping him, however.

“He's a two-down player on a good team. He's not a star,” one AFC coach told Jason. “If I'm taking a linebacker in the first round, I want a guy who can change my defense. Trust me, I've been wrong about linebackers before, but this guy doesn't fit the bill of what I spend a high pick on."

It only does take one team to see gold when it looks at Te’o film. But some teams have clearly taken the Te’o hype to mean fool’s gold.