Manti Te’o

Manti Te’o returning to Notre Dame

Despite being a certain 1st-round pick, Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Manti Te’o has elected to return to school for his senior year.

It’s a curious decision for Te’o, who has very little left to prove at the college level. He is one of the elite athletes at his position and has been tremendously productive throughout his three years in South Bend.

I had Te’o as my second-ranked linebacker (9th overall) and fully expected him to turn pro.

One possible motivation behind Te’o's decision was a fear of falling due to what is expected to be an unusually deep class at inside linebacker. Luke Kuechly, Vontaze Burfict, and Dont’a Hightower are also viewed as potential 1st-round prospects.

Te’o will now likely be considered one of the top two or three senior prospects in the 2013 draft class.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft Comments Off

Manti Te’o scouting report

Manti Te’o ILB Notre Dame #4
Ht: 6’2″
Wt: 255
 
Strengths:
Prototypical size and strength. Excels against the run. Reliable tackler; a hard hitter but also has great fundamentals and rarely misses an open-field tackle. Does a decent job shedding blocks to get into the backfield. Adequate speed; shows sideline-to-sideline ability. Exceptional vision; keeps eyes in the backfield and does an excellent job reacting to the ball carrier and putting himself in position to make plays. A team leader on the field.
Weaknesses:
Marginal coverage ability. Limited experience in man coverage and may lack the fluid athleticism to match up with some of the NFL’s elite pass-catching tight ends and running backs. Doesn’t have speed to stick with tight ends on deep routes; needs to be supported by a safety when asked to drop into coverage.
Comments:
Te’o is a polished run defender who has the skills to play inside or outside at the next level. He may actually be best suited to shift to strong-side linebacker in a scheme which requires more pass rushing and less dropping into coverage. His upside is limited somewhat due to average athleticism, but his fundamentals and on-field awareness have already developed to the point where he is one of the safest bets in this year’s draft class.

 

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 Comments Off