Manti Te’o Drafted #38 Overall by San Diego

Manti Te'o - Drafted by Chargers #38 Overall
Photo: Brian Spurlock / USA TODAY Sports

Former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o’s draft slide ended very early on Friday night when the San Diego Chargers traded up to the 38th spot to select Notre Dame’s most decorated linebacker in school history.

Long thought to be a first round pick throughout his senior season, Te’o draft fall began the night of January 7th in the national championship game.  Then there was the whole girlfriend hoax and all the drama that followed.

A poor showing at the NFL combine back in February featuring a 4.8 40 yard dash did not do much to help his slide.

Te’o rebounded at Notre Dame’s Pro Day in March, but that performance was not enough to get the Heisman runner up back into the first round, however.

The San Diego Chargers decided that all of the production Manti Te’o had on the field outweighed all of the off-field drama and poor 40 times when they decided to trade up in the 2nd round to select the Hawaiian native.

In San Diego Te’o will join a team with a rich tradition at linebacker headlined by one of the games all time greats – Junior Seau.

Despite running a slow 40 time, the Chargers may have gotten the steal of the draft.  You can’t coach leadership or instincts and Te’o is off the charts in both of those areas.  ESPN’s Todd McShay gushed about Te’o awareness and instincts after the Chargers made him their 2nd round selection while noting that Te’o does need to improve on his ability to shed blocks which is a fair criticism that could be many linebackers coming out of college.

Te’os draft slide luckily ended earlier than the slides of Brady Quinn and Jimmy Clausen over the last few years.  Te’o wisely chose not to attend the draft in person allowing him to avoid the type of publicity Quinn saw in 2008 and Geno Smith – the West Virginia quarterback selected one spot after Te’o – saw this year.

Te’o is the second Notre Dame player drafted this year with Tyler Eifert coming off the board last night as the first tight end selected when the Cincinnati Bengals took him with the 21st overall selection.

With Te’o off the board now, it is anyone’s guess as to who the next Notre Dame player will be.  Some scouts feel that Cierre Wood could sneak up draft boards because of his speed and athleticism.  Wood does not have great production numbers from his senior season since he was more of a change of pace back in 2012 behind Theo Riddick, but he performed very well at both the combine and Notre Dame’s Pro Day.

Other Notre Dame players who could be selected this week include Zeke Motta and Braxston Cave along with Wood and Riddick.  Robby Toma will likely find his way into an NFL training camp as well thanks to his 40 times.


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    1. bj,

      Spring games are not designed entirely for scoring parades. In many cases, it is to see what other options we have with unknown players.

      Because of our depth, our starting team does not even need to play in the spring game. We need to know more about our next-man-in-guys to see how and if they perform.

      CW was good on spring game scoring parades, remember?

    2. I think the player who will be missed is Cierre Wood. Couldve come back for his last year and redeemed himself but chose to come out early. Lots of uncertainty at the RB position right now.

      1. Amen jeff,

        I could not agree with you more. Howbeit, BK has 5 good options to work with.

        I have faith GAIII will get his act together and emerge as the starter.

        At 6’1 – 217 lbs still growing just needs to polish his technique. I don’t buy he is scared to get hit.

        Growth spurts tend to make you awkward, BK will dial-in his gyroscope. Rest assurded, GAIII is one tough kid.

  1. I thought he had a shot with the Ravens, but instead, as one analyst said, “Ravens decided they would rather pick a 5’9″ safety to cover the Bengals Tyler Eifert.”:)

  2. Frank,

    You’re right, San Diego really does indeed have a steal with Teo. It’s unfortunate the way the season ended for him, however, he will certainly shine with San Diego. Seems like a good fit.

    Actually, the guy that really shocked me was Wood. Wood managed to wreck his whole senior season being in the dog house with BK. BK definitely made it a point to let Wood know what he flushed down the toilet with his behavior. BK had every right to be upset with Wood.

    Moving forward, I with you, Wood should be next with his exceptional talent. Hopefully, Wood understands BK demostrated what needed to be done.
    Wood may very well be a steal also for another team.

    Excellent professional analysis as always Frank.

    1. Wood shouldve got his shit together and come back for his senior year. He will be missed this upcoming season

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