Manti Te’o runs his first 40 in unofficial 4.81

AP

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o now has something to worry about other than a fake dead girlfriend.

Te’o’s first 40 at the NFL Scouting Combine came in at an unofficial 4.81 seconds. And when “official” times come in, they’ve been coming in slower all week. He’ll get another chance to improve his time in a few minutes.

If he could have run in the 4.75 range, he would have erased some doubts about his ability to be more than a two-down linebacker. Now, with pedestrian 40 times, and an ugly last impression after his performance against Alabama, he has some serious on-field work to do.

UPDATE 2:08 p.m. ET: Te’o’s second 40 was an unofficial 4.80.

106 responses to “Manti Te’o runs his first 40 in unofficial 4.81

  1. “If he could have run in the 4.75 range, he would have erased some doubts about his ability to be more than a two-down linebacker. ”

    Because 6 one hundredths of a second is the difference between being an every down Linebacker and a two down player?

  2. Burfict ran a poor 40 last year and was poor in general. Te’o should be disappointed, but if he’s good enough, he’ll make it in the pros.

  3. Six-hundredths of a second (4.75 v. 4.81) are really that important?

    Not a Teo fan, but this razor-thin difference between satisfication and panic is a little annoying.

  4. The 40-yard dash is the NFL’s version of the old candygram skit. How many NFL seasons do you have to watch to know that the 40-yard dash time doesn’t matter? Five? Ten? Twenty?

  5. Seriously, 0.06 seconds is not the difference between a 2-down and a 3-down linebacker. Unless a team plans on using him to cover 80-yard deep routes, it’s really no big deal to have a 4.81 backer instead of a 4.75 one.

    For a linebacker and the coverage that they usually have to deal with, I’d worry more about his instincts and reaction time.

  6. stick him in a 3 4 defense where he doesn’t have to roam a lot and he will be fine. His tackling is another story entirely after watching what Eddie Lacy did to him.

  7. The media nipicking of this kid is ridiculous. “If he could have run in the 4.75 range” I’m sorry is 6/100ths of a second not within that range? This guy is pure RKG, a 5 star recruit out of high school, a four year starter in college, two time all- american and Heisman candidate. He would have been a late first round pick last year. The fake girlfriend scandal is the best thing that could have happened to his career- he is going to have a chip on his shoulder looking at signs in the crowd at every away game for the next 10 years. Look for the Steelers or Ravens to grab the next generational talent at MLB, and watch as the GM laughs all the way to the defensive rookie of the year trophy.

  8. He sure is bottom heavy. More like a DL player. With a Samoan diet I think he will always battle weight issues.

  9. We knew all this. That he was a mediocre athlete. It was discussed here many times. I still think he will be an ok player. Just not a star.

  10. Seems as though there is more that’s imaginary about this kid than the girlfriend. I’ll place him at a 4th rounder at best. He may even drop off the board.

  11. New England LB Brandon Spikes ran a 5 second 40 yard dash. May hurt draft status, but this news doesn’t mean Teo can’t be an effective LB in the NFL.

  12. @mountme the criticisms of 40 times is another reason I don’t pay much attention to the combine. They stress 10ths of seconds. Its ridiculous. As a Steeler’s fan, I can say he wouldn’t be my choice in the 1st round but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Steelers or Ravens drafted him. He’s definitely falling

  13. Someone will just get a good deal in the 2nd round now, since his draft stock will drop.

    He’ll be a decent NFL pro, no way he isn’t.

  14. That was the imaginary 40 time that masqueraded in front of the NFL personnel. He will be vindicated after his presser explaining that his real 40 time comes to light.

  15. Ya if the Ravens were smart theyd grab him at 32 cux hes gonna fall pretty low because this 40 speed. He is a great leader and goos football player, and the Ravens would love to replace a future HOF with another great player.
    And I dont care what his 40 is if he falls to the KC in the second then id say pull the trigger on this kid. Just what andy has never been able to have on defense via draft, a good linebacker.

  16. Sorry Teo, but the guys in the NFL are a little faster, and the QB’s are a lot better at making decisions. He might be a pretty good professional player, but I have a feeling he is Rey Maualuga 2.0.

  17. Nothing against Teo, but .06 seconds is a big difference. If Tavon Austin had run a 4.4, he’d be a a second rounder, but a 4.34 solidifies him as a top 20 pick.

    At this level of competition, with the speed of NFL caliber players today, hundredths of a second make all the difference in the world. When the main knock on a prospect is his speed, and then his speed disappoints at the combine, it can be disastrous.

    I think Teo is still a first round pick and will be very successful in the NFL, but pretending that .06 seconds is not significant is just foolish.

  18. Doesn’t have the skills for the NFL and doesn’t have the personality for the WWE. This kid might be in trouble.

  19. Kevin Minter one of the other top rated MLB’s ran a 4,81.
    To me Te’o’s inability to get off blocks and over running plays is more concerning. I think he’ll be a good MLB but he’s not a top 20 talent.

  20. @mountme

    The nitpicking is very warranted considering his potential draft position and the amount of money that will be involved. GM’s will scrutinize every player to be sure that there’s a return on the investment.

    Its not like he sold his jersey or got a speeding ticket…c’mon wake up. GM’s are questioning whether or not he’s smart enough to play with a chip on his shoulder.

  21. Tebow 2.0? – quite possibly. Seem to have about the same level of experience with women.

    Notable Combine 40 times:
    Vontaze Burfict: 5.09
    Stephen Tulloch: 4.84
    Lofa Tatupu: 4.83
    Greg Lloyd: 4.80
    Curtis Lofton: 4.79
    Rey Malaluga: 4.78
    James Laurinaitis: 4.76

    Martez Wilson? 4.42
    Gerald McRath 4.49
    Boomer Grigsby: 4.60
    Adam Seward: 4.60
    Josh Magua: 4.63

    Not sure it makes a ton of difference, if there is another quality about him that distinguishes himself from other players. Granted scouring the combine history for good performers below 4.75 is a lot harder, it is somewhat of a barometer for success, but it is definitely not perfect, and far from definitive.

  22. Didn’t Lofa Tatupu run a slow 40 time? Like around 5 seconds? He turned out to be great player until injuries derailed his career.

    People need to stop looking at one game, and realize just how awesome he played in college.

  23. Bill Polin said last week he needed a 4.7 or better to be an early first wound pick. Now end of first round pick/

  24. This was the #1 player on the #1 team in the country according to media pollsters before the game was decided on the field and his speed was measured with a stopwatch. Shows you what the media knows. Sam Montgomery ran a 4.81 official time, so it looks like he will collect $5,000 if Te’o’s time drops at all on the official.

  25. “dolphandan says: Feb 25, 2013 2:12 PM
    Watch “Catfish” on MTV and you will have a new understanding of what happened to Manti Te’o.”
    ================================================

    Only Domer fans and the truly gullible believe Teo merely an innocent victim of being catfished the ENTIRE two years of this “relationship”. Congratulations, you’ve also been catfished by his well-paid PR team and their absurd spin doctoring.

  26. What is the upside to Te’o now? He can’t bench because a stinger is still bothering him six weeks after his last game…he’s not fast…and he’s going to be the butt of every joke and prank in whatever locker room he lands in.

  27. The best thing that may happen for this guy is that he will fall in the draft and end up on a good team. Then he can be mentored behind a quality starter and not have the pressure to be an instant star.

  28. Anyone remember what Brandon Spikes ran?

    Or how about Mannie Lawson’s sub 4.5 speed.

    Aside from running back, 40 yard times are cool but not that important in determining a players merit.

  29. After all the events that have been surrounding him, it’s not hard to see Te’0 having an awful combine showing, i’m sure it hasn’t exactly been the first thing on his mind.

    I think he deserves blame for his “relationship,” but honestly a lot of the haters are using that justification to say that he’s not a good football. Or the one game against Alabama. Granted, he looked poor, but come on, the dudes got a lot of other game tape to go through that supports he can play in the NFL.

  30. Yeah. If ONLY he’d run 4.75 instead of 4.80. Just imagine the difference/impact that .06 would have made.

    (I swear…you can’t even make this stuff up. Priceless.)

  31. There are many good two down middle linebackers in the league, so the speed is not the issue with him. What IS the issue is his ability to break down and make fundamental tackles…the very thing he didn’t do in the biggest game in his collegiate life against top competition. He needs to dial down the aggressiveness and just…make the play.

  32. Granada, show me the proof that Teo knew about the hoax. Only Domer haters make junk up. Get the proof and I’ll listen. I think he looks worse going with the story he went with. He’d get more credit for being smart and manipulating the media. Either way who cares? Get over your ND jealousy.

  33. Brian Cushing ran a 4.74. .06 faster really, doesn’t mean that much. AJ Hawk ran a faster time than Cushing, or Clay Matthews. I don’t think anyone would claim him to be a faster better LB.

  34. Paul Posluzny 2.0.. Storied college career, mediocre athlete, can’t shed blocks, not fast enough to get to the sideline.. Would have to be a master at angling to the ball career. He’ll be a guy on a team and probably start early on but he won’t be anything special.. Like I said Poz.

  35. Jerry Rice ran a 4.7, seemed to workout for him.

    40 yard dash in your underwear means nothing unless you’ve just jumped out the bedroom window.

    And whether you are a 1st round pick or 7th round pick it doesn’t matter. . . maybe a lil in the pocket.

  36. The interviews and lack of sleep likely got to him.

    He likely needs to lose 5-10 more lbs and really kick butt in his run on Notre Dame’s March 26 pro day.

  37. For all of the six hundredth comments, don’t forget that is unofficial times. Which have been running up to a tenth of a second faster than the official times. Six tenths isn’t huge, but sixteen hundredths is the difference between covering the crossing route and creating a window for an NFL quarterback to complete a pass. It is the difference between meeting Chris Johnson at the line or watching him run past you.

    The speed isn’t the only factor, someone like London Fletcher is getting it done from knowing the offenses and using the right angles. But, if you are counting on this kid to be sharp instead of fast you’ve got some serious doubts after the off field issues.

  38. Ten years ago, I’d agree with everyone here that .06 means nothing. But, in the NflagFL, a .01 of a second means tackling Vernon Davis and watching him cross your face 15x like he did against Ray Lewis in the SB. Sadly, the game isn’t about heart anymore. It’s about running very fast. I’ll take a great 40 time now over anyone with “a nose for the ball”.

    Chase Blackburn has heart and a nose for the ball. He’s also got TEs burning him constantly.

  39. The Philadelphia Eagles (AKA Dream Team 3.0) will gladly take this bonafide stud in whatever round he falls to. When Manti Te’o, Mychal Kendricks, and DeMeco Ryans are tearing havoc against the rest of the NFL, everyone will wish they had taken Manti.

  40. Admittedly, I am not a NFL scout but after watching the Alabama game, I’m not sure he is even in the top 7 rounds. He was easily blocked and when he wasn’t blocked, he ran to the wrong hole and the few times he did hit the right hole, he missed the tackle.

    He’s slow of foot, he’s slow mentally, the only thing that he has going for him is that he went to Notre Dame and tell me how many good NFL linebackers they ever had?

  41. Normally not a cause for alarm, but everyone else seems to be running faster than expected, so he was not just slow on the clock, he was slow compared to everyone else too.

    He can probably be a good 2-down guy, but why spend a high pick on someone who will never play every down? You’d still need to find a guy to play on third.

  42. I can’t stand ND, but I’ll take all the combine stuff with a grain of salt.

    Plenty of guys have made themselves a ton of money by being a workout wonder during the combine, and being selected much earlier than their body of work on the field should have dictated.

    *cough* Mike Mamula

    That being said, I pray that my team doesn’t select him in the first round. If he was there in the second, I’d take him though.

    Yeah, I’m freaking old.

  43. Is the difference between a 4.75 and 4.8 actually enough to make a big difference on the field? A man who runs a 4.75 finishes his race half a step before the man who runs a 4.8, if that.

  44. For those wondering about the significance of a couple of hundreths of a second in the 40 – yes it is significant!

    At 40 yds the rule of thumb is that every 100th is a step. So if I’m Jimmy Graham or Vernon Davis or Gronk, I know that on a 20 yd seam route, I got Te’o by a full step – and he isn’t going to catch me from behind.

    That is huge!!

  45. I mean no disrespect to ND fans, but Alabama was in a complete other class then ND in the championship game. ND was a bit of a fraud. Te’o just isn’t that good. He’s too small and too slow. He may be NFL caliber, but not a first rounder like people thought.

  46. granadafan says:
    Feb 25, 2013 2:43 PM
    “dolphandan says: Feb 25, 2013 2:12 PM
    Watch “Catfish” on MTV and you will have a new understanding of what happened to Manti Te’o.”
    ================================================

    Only Domer fans and the truly gullible believe Teo merely an innocent victim of being catfished the ENTIRE two years of this “relationship”. Congratulations, you’ve also been catfished by his well-paid PR team and their absurd spin doctoring.
    =========================

    Actually i’m a Hurricanes fan. I hate ND and I think Te’o is overrated. Just saying he is not the only person this has happened to.

  47. reasonablemindsays says: Feb 25, 2013 3:30 PM

    The Philadelphia Eagles (AKA Dream Team 3.0) will gladly take this bonafide stud in whatever round he falls to. When Manti Te’o, Mychal Kendricks, and DeMeco Ryans are tearing havoc against the rest of the NFL, everyone will wish they had taken Manti.
    ________
    I can’t stand the Eagles, but can we stop it with the “imposterfansays” garbage? DC has been plagued with “logic” for almost a year now and some kind of retaliation won’t solve anything. Both franchises get ragged on enough without fake fans inciting hate against the team and fan base. It just kind of ruins this website for everyone else.

  48. At issue is the whole Combine pseudo-scientific attempt to quantify what is essentially a qualitative commodity. Several “ballers” don’t impress with gaudy stats a la the Combine, but do impress in the NFL. Several Combine freaks flame out in the NFL. It’s just something to try to crow about and generate buzz. What else are they going to do on the NFL Network? Run re-plays of the Super Bowl for 6 months?

  49. mvp43 says: Feb 25, 2013 1:43 PM

    “Along with that 40 time………that picture has left a lasting impression on me as well.”

    He’s fallen and he can’t get up.

  50. tv426 says: Feb 25, 2013 3:39 PM

    For those wondering about the significance of a couple of hundreths of a second in the 40 – yes it is significant!

    At 40 yds the rule of thumb is that every 100th is a step. So if I’m Jimmy Graham or Vernon Davis or Gronk, I know that on a 20 yd seam route, I got Te’o by a full step – and he isn’t going to catch me from behind.

    That is huge!!
    ———————————–
    Thanks for clarifying that…I had been wondering.

  51. I love the expression on Coach Harbaugh’s face when Teo runs out of gas at about 20 yards and doesn’t have another gear in his motor. You can see it on NFL.com.

    I think Teo runs like a girl . . . not that there’s anything wrong with that . . . .

  52. That margin is beyond small – and when does a LB need to run 40 yrds? I’d say how fast he gets to 10 yrds side to side is more important.

    Does anyone else think they should customize these tests for the position? They have OL run these too, and what is the point???…on the off chance an OL sees a fumble 40 yrds down the field and every other player is blinded by the sun?? CRAZY.

  53. An unofficial 4.80 will be an official 4.85 or so, and .1 of a second is a big deal. It’s the difference between a hard hit and a blown tackle.

    More importantly, it’s the difference between a guy who showed up to the combine in shape and a guy who didn’t.

  54. This is how you know this is the off season, the news and nit picking to create an issue is so stupid. Dropping to the second round, is that honestly bad?

    No, it isn’t. There’s not much of a huge difference of being picked in the first round and second, other than getting accolades and having more ‘pressure’ depending on who you are, where you are, and what the media makes of it.

    The goal is to get drafted and that is all that matters. This is football, not TMZ.

  55. Lots of posters saying it doesn’t matter. I guess you’re all right. I mean, what difference does it make if a tight end gets a step or two on him with a route up the seam? Well, except he will give up a TD on that to a good QB and TE. Yep. Doesn’t matter at all.

  56. Te’o is a slow coach,,,hes not half the player the media makes him to be. A typical media driven ND player. Bet hes glad he doesnt have to play Alabama anymore. 4 rd fodder

  57. Small, slow, and stupid. But because of where he went to school and the resulting hype, he’ll be drafted by some idiot owner or GM, then kept around, despite a total lack of production, to “prove” he’s “NFL quality”.

    Sounds like a Cowboy to me, but I don’t wish him on the team’s fans. They have enough problems with their owner/GM/real coach.

  58. Wait a minute….he what??? OMG!!! He was naive? I guess if he had smoked a joint, or got real drunk and got in a fight, or had a couple domestic disputes that wouldn’t be anything. But this kid, who is innocent (like a child, not unguilty) and at the worse, naive, he is being doubted for his football skill?

    C’mon world, get real. What are we talking about here???

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