Bears Should Not Draft Manti Te'o
Matt Bowen put together a nice list of 10 Draft Picks Who Could Help the Bears, which included Manti Te'o, and unless you've been living in a cave, you've heard of him and his fake dead girlfriend but might not necessarily know that he is in fact one of this upcoming NFL Draft's top linebacker prospects and a viable choice for the Bears. The Bears are aging at linebacker and my guess right now is that Brian Urlacher won't be back, though I hope I'm wrong. Although 10 guys were mentioned in Bowen's article, Bears fans zeroed in on Te'o in frequent comparison to Georgia's troubled but talented Alec Ogletree:
Jeremiah Carroll · Arizona State University
Why is the media so set on Manti Te'o?... Every year he had more assists than solos... his production went down each subsequent year... Alec Ogletree, on the other hand, improved dramatically in production each year. Furthermore, Alec's solo to assist ratio is decidedly solo heavy... he also played and competed against top talent... In a perfect world where all teams play the same level of competition and hype doesn't drive value Manti would be a third rounder at best. I just don't see the value in comparison to where he will get drafted.
Mike Petitti · Sydney, Australia
I hope the Bears stay as far away from Manti T'eo as possible. Nothing against ND, but he has disqualified himself as a legit top prospect
I f I had to make the call, it would be Ogletree over T'eo.
Andrey Sidorov · Top Commenter
teo will be a bust....don't draft him
Out of 10 comments in the first 24 hours, 7 said "no" to Te'o in the first round with 3 specifically saying they would prefer Ogletree, an 8th talked about the Bears being unlikely to take a CB, a 9th suggested the Bears could trade down and still get Te'o, while the 10th said:
Nicholas Fisch · Top Commenter · Dubuque Senior High School
So many Mad people, Te'o is the next Urlacher, I SWEAR.
To which he drew this reply:
Darren Doxey · Staff Writer at ChicagoNow
No way he can be, Urlacher was one of the fastest linebackers ever. He was a free safety. Te'o cant do what urlacher did. Not trying to be a downer lol, just saying, dont get your hopes up. Lach is a once in a lifetime guy.
Darren's got that part right. Ulracher is simply one of the best to ever play the position, a former Defensive Player of the Year and a future Hall of Famer. He's an athletic freak who brought some of the best range the position has ever seen, and is probably the best pass-coverage linebacker I've ever observed, drawing on his experience as a safety. I watched Hall of Famer Mike Singletary and I don't think he was anywhere near the impact player Ulracher has been. The Bears aren't going to find the "next Urlacher" in this or any draft.
As for Te'o, I'm not as much of a watcher of college football or Notre Dame in particular to have a strong opinion but I'm inclined to go with the majority of the comments on this one. Due to his unimpressive measure-ables and poor performance in the national championship game, I have a hard time believing this guy's going to be an NFL star. I wouldn't be surprised if he became a solid player, but you need better than solid players in the first round of the draft or at least guys with higher upside. I don't know Alec Ogletree but it's clear that his upside is considerably higher than Te'o's. Better to use a first round pick on a guy like that, troubles and all.
However, I don't want to see the Bears use their first pick on a linebacker when they have glaring needs on offense, the line in particular, and a new offensive head coach. I'd love to see them improve the left tackle position but I think that's going to be tough drafting 20th. A great guard opposite the impressive Lance Louis could give the Bears a road-grading ground game. Alternatively, if Tyler Eifert can truly be an every-down, game-changing tight end, I'd be thrilled about that possibility as well, though they'd still need to improve the o-line some other way.