It can’t be sugarcoated; Manti Te’o struggled through the first half of the BCS National Championship Game. He was uncharacteristically missing tackles and couldn’t get off blocks like he normally does.
While it is just one game out of 13 Te’o has played this year, it comes against the highest level of competition Notre Dame has seen. Alabama is as close to an NFL team there is in the college game and they made Te’o look average, or worse.
The Detroit Lions need playmakers on defense and Te’o has been just that for the Fighting Irish on his way to finishing as a Heisman finalist. The hype peaked a few weeks ago when many early mock drafts had the Lions making Te’o the fifth overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Whether overrated to begin with or as a result of tonight’s performance, Te’o is highly unlikely to be drafted that high once April finally gets here. But that doesn’t mean he is totally out of the picture for the Lions.
Ugly night for Irish overall but no one will suffer more on draft day than Te’o. Not unreasonable he could slip out of 1st based on this.
— Rob Rang (@RobRang) January 8, 2013
With the Lions holding the fourth pick in the second round, they may get another shot at Te’o. He may not be an elite linebacker prospect but he is still considered a very good prospect, one the Lions would be smart to give serious consideration to near the top of the second round should that opportunity present itself.
What do you think, would you be excited to see the Lions land Te’o in the second round?