Posts Tagged ‘Notre Dame’
Draft Pick: Round 2 Pick 38
San Diego Chargers
Strengths- Football I.Q.
In terms of overall awareness and football intelligence, Te’o is one of the most NFL ready players of the entire Rookie class this year. A star player during his final year at Notre Dame, he ranks third all-time in the schools illustrious history with 437 total tackles.
Te’o is an instinctive player and a solid tackler. He also has all the tools necessary to become a leader on the Chargers defense given his experience of being a team captain in college.
If I had to pick a comparison for Te’o, his game reminds me very much of Luke Kuechly who was a top-ten pick in last year’s Draft and is now a standout player for the Carolina Panthers. He may not have the same amount of athleticism as Kueckly has though and that is a concern.
Te’o ran a 4.82 40 time at the NFL Combine which left many scouts and coaches disappointed. Although he did improve on that time slightly by running a 4.78 at his Notre Dame pro day, neither 40 time signifies a great amount of speed.
That lack of quickness shows on tape for Te’o and it appears to be the standout question mark surrounding his talents on the field. There’s no doubting his tackling ability, but he needs to improve his burst if he is going to get in a position to make plays in the NFL.
There is one other obvious weakness for Te’o and that is the elephant in the room.
Why should we watch out for him?
It should be clear to NFL fans and anyone who has ever visited http://deadspin.com/ why we should watch out for Te’o. This 22-year-old isn’t your typical second round draft pick and that’s because the former Notre Dame star received worldwide attention earlier this year. Unfortunately for Te’o, this wasn’t the attention he would have been looking for.
The story has been widely reported over the past few months and is something that most fans are probably tired of discussing. Whilst some analysts may consider this issue irrelevant to his professional career, I think it is something he will have to deal with during his Rookie season.
The San Diego Chargers have done a fantastic job in protecting Te’o from any further embarrassment since he was drafted by the team in the second round back in April. The media haven’t been given excessive access to Te’o during recent minicamps which has left him to concentrate on matters on the field rather than on answering questions off it.
All reports coming out of Chargers camp this summer are that Te’o has looked great in practice and he will start alongside Donald Butler at middle linebacker this year. The problem for Te’o begins once the summer ends and the regular season begins.
So far, there have been no incidents of rookie hazings or any animosity towards Te’o from inside the Chargers locker room but the same cannot be said for opposing players and especially rival fans. I’m sure opposing teams will use his off-field controversy to target Te’o during games.
He isn’t likely to get the warmest reception from fans either. I can’t imagine that Raiders fans in the “Black Hole” will be to kind to him when the Chargers travel to Oakland on December 22nd.
Only time will tell if Te’o is mentally strong enough to deal with the inevitable question marks that are to come.
There is my scouting report on Manti Te’o.
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