Trying to impress NFL scouts and personnel in the wake of a personal scandal, linebacker Manti Te'o ran an unofficial 4.81 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine Monday. Unfortunately for Te'o, that was slower than expected.
Notre Dame LB Manti Te'o ran an unofficial 4.81 40-yard dash. Mayock set the over/under at 4.75 so he was slower than he expected.— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) February 25, 2013
Te'o interviewed with NFL personnel over the weekend, and by all accounts, he gave a solid first impression. But with a slow 40 time, his draft stock, which was already up in the air due to his fake girlfriend hoax scandal, may take a hit. Te'o could fall behind other linebackers in the draft class, according to NFL.com's Chris Wesseling:
To put Te'o's 40-yard dash in perspective, recall that 346-pound Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Dontari Poe nearly equaled his time at 4.87. Checking in smaller than expected at 241 pounds, Te'o needed to crack 4.75 to erase doubts about his athleticism and ability to play all three downs. Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh was less than impressed.
In addition to a disappointing 40 time, Te'o won't be able to display his upper body strength at the Combine, as he is sitting out the bench press due to a stinger.
Te'o is coming off a fine senior season at Notre Dame. He recorded 113 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks in 2012, and he was tabbed as a Heisman Trophy finalist. However, those numbers won't mean much for his draft stock if he doesn't improve his on-field performance for NFL scouts.
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