After the college season came to an end, many New York Giants fans drooled over the thought of drafting Notre Dame stand-out linebacker Manti Te'o. However, he was projected by most experts to be selected early in the first-round, before the Giants would have a shot at him. But after a lackluster performance in the National Championship Game against Alabama, and now a weak showing at the NFL Combine, there is a strong chance he will be available when the Giants are up at pick 19. With all the controversy surrounding him combined with his less than stellar combine results, is it really worth it for the Giants to use the first round pick on him? That answer should be no.
General Manager Jerry Reese has stated that he is more interested in what Te'o can do off the field than what happens in his personal life. He also said that he will not rule out drafting the Heisman runner-up…but that was prior to Te'o's showing at the NFL Combine.
Te'o's measurables were less than stellar. He was measured at 6' 1.25" and weighed in at 241 lbs., which is average compared to the rest of the linebackers. His 40-yard dash time was perhaps the biggest disappointment, clocking in at 4.82 seconds. He was recorded at 7.13 seconds in the cone drill, a 9' 5" in the broad jump and 33" in the vertical jump.
Scouts feel Te'o's lack of speed will make it difficult for him in coverage, causing some experts to believe he can only be a two down linebacker at the NFL level.
So does it make sense for the Giants to pull the trigger on him if he's there when they're picking? Probably not. History also says Te'o won't be the Giants' selection. The G-men haven't selected a linebacker in the first-round since they drafted Carl Banks out of Michigan State in 1984. Even if they do decide to go with a linebacker, there are other candidates such as Alec Ogletree, who possesses elite speed and athleticism, who is arguably a better fit and should be available when the Giants pick.
The Giants will likely address other needs with their first round pick, perhaps offensive line or adding a pass rusher. But if Te'o's draft stock continues to drop it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Giants pick him in the second round.
Also…Alec Ogletree, Football, Jerry Reese, Manti Te'o, New York, New York Giants, NFL