By now I’m sure you’ve heard about the Deadspin article calling into serious questions whether the girlfriend of Manti Te’o who supposedly died days before Notre Dame played against Michigan State ever existed. The fact that such a story, which was widely repeated across various national media sources, may have been entirely fake has big time ramifications for what will happen with Te’o in the NFL Draft.
Notre Dame claims Te’o is the victim of a scam and that he was duped by an internet persona. Maybe that is true, or even in part, but that still leaves room for plenty of lies from Te’o. He has some very interesting interviews ahead of him as he meets with teams ahead of the draft.
Te’o was a hot name in early mock drafts, frequently rising as high as fifth overall to be selected by the Detroit Lions. That has since cooled for reasons not related to yesterday’s bomb shell, but Te’o was still seen as a sure-fire first round pick. That may have all changed as in a matter of days as Te’o, who was once seen as a high character prospect, may now have to be evaluated with the stain of character concerns.
While it is clear Lions fans should not want Te’o to join the team with the fifth overall pick, the question is worth considering whether or not he should join the team at all. It’s not a far-fetched or over-the-top, knee-jerk question at all. Consider this:
NFC Scout on Manti Te’o: “We likely will just cross him off our big board altogether.”
— Jimmy Kingman (@JimmyKingman) January 16, 2013
Who knows, maybe that NFC scout works for the Lions.
The Lions have a serious need for playmakers on their defense and that is exactly what Te’o was for the Fighting Irish defense in 2012. But is he too much of a gamble? Is he actually a gamble at all? Vote in the poll below and feel free to use the comments section to let us know what round, if any, you would be comfortable with the Lions taking Te’o.