Former Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Manti Te’o disappointed at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine with his poor 40-yard dash time and lack of explosive athletic ability during on-field drills. While Te’o left a lot to be desired in the Underwear Olympics, he did impressive scouts behind close doors during the interview process. Te’o showed off a great understanding of the game and a strong sense of leadership, which has always been his best attribute.
Te’o will now just need to improve on his workouts times for when the scouts visit Notre Dame for the team’s Pro Day. Te’o knows that he will need to improve his times and he believes that it is obvious he will shave time off of his 40-yard dash.
“Obviously, faster than a 4.8,” Te’o said,per Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune. “We’ll see what happens.
“I think the 40 time measures what the 40 time is supposed to measure. I think that’s something that I’m going to get better. The only way from here is up, so I’m definitely going to get better at that. I think, as far as play, I think what’s on the film, that’s the play. Obviously, I can get faster in my 40.”
Te’o does have a point. Some guys are just track guys and their speed does not translate to football speed. When you watch Te’o play — minus the national championship game — he shows great instincts and is always finding his way to the ball. The quick play recognition and angles are more important for a linebacker than long speed.
I understand the concerns about Te’o’s speed, but he should erase some of those questions at his Pro Day.
When April’s draft rolls around, it would be an absolute shock if Te’o is not selected in the first-round. With a load of linebacker needy teams in the bottom of round one, it is hard to find scenario that would have Te’o slipping out of the top 32 picks.