On Monday, the prospective linebackers from the rookie NFL class of 2013 took to the field at Lucas Oil Stadium. Manti Te’o was undoubtedly the star of the show. After a shameful performance in the National Championship game, and months of shocking revelations about his imaginary internet girlfriend, Te’o finally had the chance to show his stuff in the skill drills Monday for the NFL Scouting Combine. The Indianapolis Colts, the host team and stadium for the Combine, may have just as much interest in the recently-troubled Notre Dame linebacker as any other team drafting late in the first round.
Over 800 press passes were requested for this year’s Scouting Combine, which was the largest amount ever. The major interest was for Te’o. What was he going to say, what would he admit to, and how would this young man perform, after such a firestorm of controversy surrounding his personal life? Te’o did his drills on Monday, and the result was less-than impressive.
Te’o didn’t not participate in the bench press, but did attempt several other skill drills. His best 40-yard dash time was 4.82 seconds, and his best 20-yard shuttle was 4.27 seconds. Te’o had a 33.0-inch vertical jump, and a 113.0-inch broad jump. Te’o did the three-cone drill in 7.13 seconds, which all seems to see that he may be fast in short bursts, but might not have the tools needed to be an every-down pro linebacker. Some of these times are a bit curious for a player expected to be drafted anywhere from the mid-to-late 1st round. These statistics are merely numbers on a single day, and the best that Te’o did was his field workout, which shows his strengths and ability to adapt with the intangibles of professional football.
Manti Te’o is expected in many mock drafts (including ours) to be picked up around the 20th pick in round one of this April’s NFL Draft. If so, that could possibly put Te’o right in the lap of the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts are definitely in need of another linebacker, but there’s more of a need outside rather than inside for Indianapolis. Te’o might not be a perfect fit for the holes of the Colts defense, but he would no doubt find a happy home if he stayed in Indiana. If Manti Te’o happens to still be on the board when the Colts are on the clock, it would be hard for Indianapolis to say no.