For those monitoring the Manti Te’o situation closely, waiting to see if the Notre Dame Heisman candidate could improve on a poor NFL Scouting Combine performance, the results are in. Te’o improved his sluggish 4.81 forty yard dash time at his Pro Day.
ESPN reported that Te’o unofficially ran a 4.71 and a 4.75. That’s a little faster than his 4.81 at the NFL Scouting Combine. In the end, it probably doesn’t make a huge difference what Te’o runs. NFL Network’s Mike Mayock said as much on “NFL AM” on Tuesday, noting that Te’o isn’t getting drafted for his straight-line speed. The time is improved, but even a 4.81 wasn’t crazy slow for an inside linebacker.
Numerous scouts and draft experts still have a first round grade on Te’o, but a poor showing against Alabama in the National Championship game followed up by a poor showing at the Combine have put his legitimacy as a top prospect in doubt. All of the on the field and measurable items aside, the dark cloud of his fake girlfriend scandal still hangs over his head. Many mock drafts have the Bears taking Te’o in the first round. GM Phil Emery gave the Bears some flexibility in replacing Brian Urlacher by adding DJ Williams and James Anderson.
I personally would stay away from Te’o in the draft. I think he’s undersized and too slow to be consistently effective taking on NFL competition on Sundays. He picked off a few passes and played well in spots, but I think people were blinded by his backstory rather than his production.
What do you think? Did his improved time in the 40 change your mind? Does it even matter? Should the Bears consider Te’o or stay away?