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NFL Draft Combine: Manti Te’o Takes a Spill (Video)
Manti Te’o has been under a microscope during his appearance at the 2013 NFL Draft Combine following an impressive senior season that saw him become one of the most decorated defensive players in NCAA history, as he earned several honors, including the Lott Trophy, the Maxwell Award, the Bronco Nagurski Trophy and the Butkus Award. And he also finished second in Heisman voting to Texas A&M freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel.
Of course, that was all followed by the unveiling of the entire fake-girlfriend-hoax ordeal. So yeah, Te’o had garnered quite a bit of attention at this year’s Combine, as NFL scouts were interested to see how the Notre Dame linebacker bounces back on the field in Indianapolis following a poor BCS National Championship performance and the barrage of off-the-field distractions that followed.
So far, it hasn’t been good.
First, there was Te’o's weigh-in, which saw him get measured at 6’1″, 241-pounds. That’s one inch shorter and 14 pounds lighter than he was listed on the Notre Dame roster—where he’s said to stand 6’2″, 255-pounds. Then there was his disastrous 40 times, where he clocked in at 4.80 and 4.81. A good time…if you’re an offensive or defensive lineman. As for linebackers, well, 4.80 is flat-out terrible, especially for a player who claimed he was clocking in at 4.46 during his practice/training runs.
And finally, there was this:
Yeah, that’s Te’o struggling to stay on his feet during a pass rush drill. I wonder what hurts one’s draft stock more: a hoax or a tumble?
On the bright side, it wasn’t all bad for Te’o. He did post solid numbers in the 3 cone drill, the 20-yard shuffle and the vert jump. As long as he can improve his 40 time at Notre Dame’s Pro Day on March 26th, we wouldn’t expect him to fall out of the first round at this year’s NFL Draft, no pun intended.