A top 10 chance for Manti Te'o?

Jonathan Daniel

If former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o happened to check out Mel Kiper's quotables from a Wednesday conference call, he may have uttered the famous words of the immortal Lloyd Christmas.

"So you're telling me there's a chance. Yeah!"

It was Kiper's opinion that if Te'o runs a good 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine next week, Te'o could be back in the discussion for the top 10 range.

"It depends on what he runs," Kiper said during the call. "If he runs a great 40-time, he gets right back into that mix to be in that top 10 to 12 discussion. The 40-time is the most important thing.

"Even though he had seven interceptions and he lost weight and increased his agility and his coverage skills this year, what he runs is going to determine whether he's an every down linebacker. That's going to be the most important thing for Manti."

Kiper, a noted Notre Dame fan, seems to be the only person thinking Te'o could go that high. However, if Te'o happens to run a 4.5 40-yard dash, anything is possible.

Kiper specifically mentioned Tampa Bay, which picks 13th, as a possible landing spot for Te'o. That's where Te'o landed in Kiper's latest mock. He also mentioned Te'o as a Ray Lewis replacement numerous times, which we had in our latest mock draft.

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