What’s slow…..My Grandma’s slow, and so is Manti Te’o. While the stocky kid from the AT&T commercial may be correct, I would like to see her race Manti. All kidding aside, this past weekend’s combine proved one thing, Te’o has below average speed. Standing at 6’1 with a 40 time of 4.82 seconds, Te’o went from a potential top 5 pick to potentially falling out of the first round.
Just because you run a great 40 time, doesn’t mean stardom in the NFL. If that was the case, the Al Davis led Raiders would have won championship after championship. From All Pro’s Troy Polamalu to Terrell Suggs, many players have had terrible times at the combine and become stars in the NFL. But nobody has ever had all the questions marks Te’o has. Te’o needed to have a strong showing at the combine to silence some of his critics, but instead, he gave teams more reason to pass on him in April’s Draft.
I’ve written before that Te’o resembles a young Mike Singletary, a player who won’t do anything flashy, but will make a ton of tackles. He’s the type of player any team can use, but he comes with a lot of question marks. The Packers stretched a few years back and selected Ohio State’s AJ Hawk with the fifth pick in the first round. While Hawk has been a solid pro, he’s never been regarded as an elite player, leading some to label him a “bust.” If teams are looking for an AJ Hawk type player, Manti is their man. If Singletary wouldn’t have had the opportunity to play with all of the Hall of Famers, he too would have had an AJ Hawk like career.
Te’o is a football player who makes plays on the field, but doesn’t have the measurable to be a top pick. Football players aren’t taken in the first round, that’s reserved for “special” athletes. Te’o isn’t a “special” player, he’s a football player. Some teams will be weary to draft him, and some may even take him off their draft board all together due to the girlfriend hoax. With those question marks along with his poor showing at the combine, Te’o will probably slide to the second, possibly the third round.
Manti gets another shot at redemption in a few weeks at Notre Dame’s pro day. The drills will be tailored to his strengths, and I’m sure he will have a much stronger showing. But one thing is for sure, he will have to run a faster time if he wants to crack the first round. If I were Manti, I would go try and find a cheetah and tape it to my back.
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