Where will Manti Te’o end up in the 2013 NFL draft?

Where will Manti Te’o end up in the 2013 NFL draft?

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Heading into the NFL Scouting Combine last weekend, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o was heralded as a top 10 prospect at the position. Despite his poor performance in the BCS National Championship game in January, he was still listed as a sure fire first round pick. Some had said he could be the one to replace the recently retired Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens. It was reported that some of the other teams that run 3-4 defenses were also interested.

The Chicago Bears had also expressed interest in Te’o as a potential replacement for Brian Urlacher should the latter retire or sign with another team. His college numbers speak for themselves – 437 total tackles, 8.5 sacks, 7 interceptions, and 2 forced fumbles. But all of that was thrown out the window when it was time to perform in front of NFL scouts and executives in Indianapolis last week.

The first part of the combine was probably the most difficult. Facing the media and once again answering questions about the ex-girlfriend hoax that made worldwide headlines. While everyone was looking forward to his combine performance, it didn’t exactly turn out the way anyone had hoped. And after not living up to the expectations, Manti Te’o may have pushed himself out of the first round and maybe further.

For starters, his height was measured at 6’1” and weighed in at 241 pounds. That’s a far cry from the 6’2”, 255 pounds that Notre Dame’s athletic department had him listed. He decided not to participate in the 225-pound bench press because of his claims that he had a stinger in his left shoulder.

Manti Te’o’s 40-yard-dash time was forgettable. He ran a dismal 4.82 and ranked 20th out of 26 linebackers in that category. He ran a 4.27 in the 20-yard shuttle run, 7.13 in the three cone drill, he measured a 33 inch vertical leap, and a 9-foot 5-inch standing broad jump.

The Hawaiian native will have one last chance to get back into the good graces of NFL brass when Notre Dame has its pro day on March 26. Te’o will need a strong performance in order to salvage his draft stock.

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