Friday, April 5, 2013
Projecting Te'o's draft spot
By Tim Kavanagh
Even without the whole off-field hoax situation, the draft stock of ILB Manti Te'o took a hit after the calendars flipped to 2013, since he was eaten alive in the BCS Championship game by Alabama's offensive line. (To be fair, there are two first-round prospects in that quintet). On the other hand, there are a number of teams in need at ILB this offseason -- including the Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears, who said goodbye to long-time stalwarts Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher, respectively -- so there's an argument to be made that the Notre Dame product will still be taken on the first night of the draft.
In his Friday mailbag column, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter offered his latest educated opinion on where exactly Te'o will land later this month:
Adam SchefterSchefter's mailbag
"I go back to what one personnel man told me in December, before the hoax surfaced and the BCS title game was played. He said that if Luke Kuechly went No. 9 in last year's draft, Te'o should go between 10 and 15 in this year's. And that was after all but one game had been played last season. Too many teams have a need at the inside linebacker position, and he's too good of a player. The New York Giants could use him. The Minnesota Vikings, with two first-round picks, could use him. The Baltimore Ravens could use him. Most teams could use him. I believe he won't get out of the first round."