Manti Te’o isn’t going to be attending the NFL Draft later this month in New York, but he was in the area yesterday visiting a team that may end up taking him when they get on the clock. The New York Giants met with Te’o on Thursday, and according to the New York Post’s Paul Schwartz, the team is actually a decent landing spot for the former Golden Domer.
Based on his pedigree and the Giants’ need, Te’o makes plenty of sense as the pick at No. 19 in the first round. He was a Heisman Trophy finalist, a remarkably productive player at Notre Dame and also considered to be a team leader.
As has been apparent for months now, the Giants need some depth in the middle of their linebacking corps. The defense overall is beginning to age, and while taking a speedy defensive end in the first round also makes sense, it might come down to a scenario where Te’o is the best available option in terms of filling a need.
Schwartz points out that he believes the Giants will undoubtedly take a linebacker in the draft, and that might mean that Te’o is the guy selected. There are other needs the Giants have, but losing Michael Boley in the offseason was something that hurt New York in a bad way. Te’o has baggage, but it’s wildly unconventional baggage and it’s not something the Giants will need to worry too much about.
Still, if push comes to shove, the Giants may decide to select a linebacker later in the draft and hope either Te’o falls to them in the second round or simply avoid him altogether. The fact that the two sides visited privately coupled with the fact the Giants have a glaring need at middle linebacker should be viewed as more than just a coincidence however.