Notre Dame Pro Day attendees knock Te’o as a first-round prospect


As the calendar approaches April, the pre-draft spin cycle will soon hit overdrive.

The rules are simple.  Teams that don’t like a player will say good things about him, hoping that someone with a higher pick will take the player, which will push a more viable prospect down the board.  Teams that like a player will say bad things about him, hoping that he’ll still be there when the team makes its pick.

It’s important to keep those rules in mind when considering any off-the-record assessments of players by scouts and coaches who, depending on the teams for which they work, may be hoping to influence what other teams will or won’t do.

Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports spoke to scouts and coaches from multiple unnamed teams who attended the Monday Pro Day workout of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o.  And none of those folks regard Te’o as a first-round pick.

“Nice player, but not worth a first-round pick.  Not in my view,” said an unnamed “AFC personnel man.”

“He’s not a star,” an AFC head coach said.  “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.”

“[H]e’s not good enough in my view,” an NFC defensive coordinator said.

We don’t doubt for a second that these sources said what Cole says they said.  But without knowing which team they work for, it’s impossible to know whether they really mean it.

It’s a common reality of the pre-draft process.  Scouts and coaches knock certain players, possibly because the scouts and coaches believe what they’re saying — and possibly because they have an agenda.  When it comes to the draft, everyone has an agenda.  When it comes to the strategy-driven NFL, everyone periodically (or more often) tells untruths to advance their agenda.

We’re not saying it’s right or it’s wrong.  That’s just the way it is.  But that makes it impossible to put much stock in the things being said by unnamed sources who may be secretly hoping that the player they’re knocking slides into their laps.

50 responses to “Notre Dame Pro Day attendees knock Te’o as a first-round prospect

  1. I think it would be funny, and disarming, for Te’o to show up at the draft with an inflatable woman. He could give her a big hug after his name was called, pose for a picture or two, etc.

  2. Maybe all college players coming into a draft should fake their GF deaths so they can get more attention to move up the draft boards. We wouldn’t even be talking about him otherwise. What the heck has this world come to?

  3. I don’t get all of the dislike and distain for this kid. He played lights out for most of his college career and would have been a sure fire top 15 pick if he came out last year. Then he goes back for his senior year and has another lights out year. The girlfriend stuff is a hoax(which does nothing to the way he plays football), people need to get over it and watch his tape. His 40 time is just a few tenths of second slower than Jonathan Banks from Miss St. People aren’t knocking him for being that slow. Te’o had one bad game last year, and the entire ND team played horribly. All football players have a bad game, to judge Te’o on that one game is absolutely FOOLISH.

  4. Wait…someone from Notre Dame is over-hyped and not as good as advertised???? Can you believe that Tom Zbikowski, Trevor Laws and Jimmy Clausen?


  5. He isn’t any good. They played a very soft schedule. They got lucky USC was beat up and without Barkley. Te’o didn’t do anything spectacular all year. Interceptions were falling into his lap, he wasn’t doing anything special to get them. Deflected passes were floating into his hands. He didn’t do anything crazy to force turnovers

  6. Nine out of ten imaginary girlfriends that were surveyed still think he goes in the first round.

  7. Yes, Te’o played lights out during his career,,but against who? Mostly unranked teams? He was two/three steps behind playing against Alabama.
    Florio where do you get your info?
    We’ll see where he ends up, and if he “ends up”.

  8. Before anonymously quoting the teams doesn’t Jason cole have to at least consider the source. Or does he just serve as a mouthpiece? If the NFC scout was the Eagles obviously he is no consideration at 4 but maybe hoping he drops to 2nd round pick. Or if it is the ravens then they are hoping he drops to them in the first. If he realizes he is being used, does he still report it? Any team from 1-15 I wouldn’t consider it worthy to report. Same with last few picks in first round. Why play the part of pawn?

  9. @randyschwimmer7

    If you think Te’o played “lights out” his college career then you haven’t watched much college football. Te’o had 7 picks all in his senior season, and 4.5 sacks his entire college career. That’s not playing lights out, playing lights out is doing what he did (have a bunch of tackles) plus making big plays in sacks and picks and forced fumbles. And everyone is hesitant from the girlfriend thing because he blantley lied to millions of people, several times. If it wasn’t for the fake girlfriend dying he wouldn’t have been in the Heismen race, and 90% of people wouldn’t even know who he is.

  10. Here’s the new way things go with social media/24hr news cycle/rampant headline grabbing:

    A linebacker that has an extremely solid college career and is a lock as a first round pick is treated like a leper/Division 3 player because of that stupid fake girlfriend story. Don’t be naive and tell me it’s because of his 40 time.

    If you can watch his games and tell me that the best defensive player on a team that went to the national championship game is not a top 32 pick you’re just being a troll.

    He may be the only college player in recent memory that is not allowed to have bad game.

    This kid is special and will prove it during his career where he will out earn 98.5% of the population of the country.

  11. Had the scandal not happen, Teo would be in the same talk as Jarvis Jones. Bad workout, look at the tape. The guy knows how to play football, but had a very bad game, in front of the world to see, against Bama. Wait, many have had a bad game against Bama for the world to see. He doesn’t need to be Ray Lewis, he needs to be a solid piece of a linebacker puzzle. Scouts lie, team execs lie, its the time to do so. Poker season boys! Wouldn’t be surprised if he goes between 15-25. If he gets past that point , Houston and Baltimore with jump on it. Both need inside LB’s to compliment their playoff teams, not a leader to take them there.

  12. His only hope is to play lights out for the team that takes him because if he doesn’t he’ll always be seen as the fake girlfriend guy who may or may not be gay & a distraction to whatever club that takes him….

  13. Te’o seems to be lacking self confidence. And the one thing he didn’t do as a guy in his 20’s, who just got messed with by another guy, who might be costing him millions of dollars, Te’o hasn’t taken care of his business.

    If you are a coach, wouldn’t you want to see that a guy has some fire in his body. Compassion might be good for the over bearing parents, but most coaches want a guy who is ready to rip someones head off.

  14. He was great against average to below average talent. When he finally faced solid nfl type talent he was scared can fused and just plain awful. Take that into the equation with he is either that dumb or that big a liar and his measurable a aren’t that great I believe not a first round talent is spot on. Jake locker was said be a in contention for number one overal and the next year he was supposed to be a third rounder at best and was taken early but everyone knows he was no top 10 talent. Same with te’o

  15. Te’o knows his stock sunk like a rock. That’s why he declined to go to New York. He didn’t want to be the guy in the green room while everybody else’s name got called before his. Then have to sit there by himself with the camera capturing how pathetic his situation comes as name after name gets called before his. Mighty embarrassing. I think he chose wisely.

  16. Let’s face it -if he was a pure first round talent or if the hype were true then the people would be saying “hey, it is the past and he is just a kid”. The fact that the hype is total nonsense opens the door to dog pile on all the other inadequacies because he is valued less. Best decision he has made of late is stay home on draft day – but I am sure there will be a home cam like all the others.

  17. He is going to need to make as much money as he can to pay the child support for his imaginary kid.

  18. Prior to his senior year nobody was using “Manti Te’o” and “first round pick” in the same sentence. He was a pretty good linebacker who was probably going to be drafted in some later round. He had ZERO interceptions for his career entering his senior season then got freakishly lucky and picked off 7. It was Heisman hype along with great luck that got people excited about him as a pro prospect.

  19. Typical over rated ND player.
    This program, players, and all the hoopla.
    Complete BS
    They stink.

  20. Boy florio, you sure are full of assumptions. If they remain unnamed how will this help them? Pretty sure they are right, just because you like him doesn’t mean anyone else does. Be a man and leave this up for once.

  21. Yep, all those who pick in the top 10 of 2nd round are beating the drum to say Teo isn’t worth it. Hope the Eagles are drumming the loudest. It would be great to add him to the new D.

  22. I hate when the coach doesn’t mention who he is

    Who are u to grade football player. Tell me all people u said he is a first round talent n where are they today. I bet 8 outta 10 are out of league

    He played well last yr on a good Irish def.
    Just like geno smith. No1 knew who he was before this past yr. he had 4 good games to start season then went all down hill now he’s a top pick prospect like please u guys who rate people are jokes

  23. I hate it when people say things like “typical [Insert school] player…”

    Then they list a few examples of failed prospects from that school.

    I don’t give a damn about Notre Dame, but deal with people individually on their own merits and what’s on tape, not a broad generalization of what people are like because the school they came from had some guys who didn’t pan out.

  24. The scouts/coaches quoted aren’t revealing their team so why would they lie? I believe they are speaking the truth when they say Te’o wouldn’t be a first round pick for them.

    He had a poor game against Alabama in the championship game, a mediocre combine, another mediocre pro day and then there is all the off field baggage.

    A team would be crazy to pick him before the 3rd round.

  25. Whether he knew about the g/f or not and whether he’s a good player or not, there sure is a lot of stone throwing in this forum

    Why is it in the gay-player comments section we’re all about acceptance, compassion, and being able to join the 21st century.

    But in here it’s “let’s tear the guy a new one because he’s not a 1st round talent!”

    Guess what, neither were the majority of players in the NFL today.

  26. Haha, I love it, I think he will be a great player.

    He was NEVER A FAST ATHLETE, never hyper atheltic, never a stop watch, measurables guy.

    He was the #1 defensive player in the country out of highscool, and he lived up to that taking ND out of the dumpster and 3 straight 100+ tackle years and 2nd in Heisman.

    Now he suddenly is a garbage player?

    Alabama game? … wtach Jarvis Jones, Ogletree, any good Lber that played Alabama got worked by that o-line.

    Fake GF emabrassing matter, his fault for being a faith based mormon that went with it, but other players do criminal things and nobody seems to care.

    Whatever he will have a shot and fall to the right team.

  27. He’s going to come out swinging! I think he could be the steal of the draft. Hes took allot of lumps since the end of the season and its cost him. Look forward to seeing this kid do damage in the nfl.

  28. Manti is being raked over coals because he blatantly lied to the media and fans and used his lies to gain publicity/ sympathy for his undeserved Heisman campaign. He and his handlers spun the story to make it sound as if he was the victim instead of being an active participant. That just made it worse. Now he’s a either a compulsive liar or the most naive/dumbest person in the country.

  29. I don’t think he sucks, but to be a first round pick as an interior linebacker, you need to be special.

    He’s just not that. He’s very good. To be picked in the top of the second round for an interior LB is really good, especially ones that can’t/don’t rush the passer or cover athletic TEs well.

  30. So if you guys think Notre Dame had a soft schedule (@Oklahoma, @USC, Stanford, Michigan, Michigan St.) What college football teams do you all root for since your teams are so much better than Notre Dame?

  31. Hes just overhyped cause hes from ND, that one scout was right a first round LB needs to change your defense. Notable first round LB selections: Patrick Willis, Sean Weatherspoon, Jerod Mayo, Von Miller, Brian Cushing. Point being these guys are all playmakers who fly around the field, T’eo is a poor mans Curtis Lofton

  32. I’d like to thank landof10000lakes for having Mini draft him in the first. I was going to suggest they might but knew I’d just get slammed for being a troll. I sure hope you’re right, landof!

  33. Yes we get it, you dislike the University of Notre Dame. Fact of the matter is Te’o didn’t lie to media. The have confessions for the man behind the fake girlfriend. He also had a very solid career at ND and anchored a top defense. And folks, a soft schedule? The same schedule that was pre-season ranked #1 in STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE. Dealt with denard Robinson, lavontte bell, Stefon Taylor, Oklahoma, USC. They didn’t give up a rushing touchdown till the Oklahoma game who they dominated. Geesh. I know the girlfriend thing was sketchy but most analysts have him going from 15-25 now. He reads plays. He makes plays. End of discussion. To say he was only in the heisman race because of the hoax is ridiculous. Get over your hate. He will be a difference maker in the nfl.

  34. Oh and btw Jarvis Jones, an OLB viewed as a edge rusher, ran a 4.9. But he goes to Georgia and is actually given credit for his stats since you don’t hate that university. Wake up people

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