The New York Jets are not going to draft Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o, ESPN's Rich Cimini is reporting. Jets personnel executive Terry Bradway told Cimini that Te'o "scares you a little bit" during an interview with the team's website following this week's NFL combine:
"He's a good football player," Bradway continued. "I know a lot of us gave him pretty good grades, but when you look at the Alabama game and you look at what's happened since, it just scares you a little bit. ... It has caused everybody to go back and re-watch and see what we have here. It's going to be interesting to see where he's drafted."
Te'o, who finished second in the Heisman Trophy race this year and had been a coveted NFL prospect this fall, has seen his stock plummet over the last two months.
First, he performed poorly in Notre Dame's blowout loss to Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game. The big-game performance was followed by the revelation that Teo's former girlfriend, who was said to have died during the season, was actually a character in a hoax. Te'o then had an underwhelming combine, running a 4.82-second 40-yard dash and registering solid, but unspectacular results in the other drills.
Te'o is still considered a likely first-round draft pick. He projects solely as a middle linebacker, a position the Jets have not identified as a need spot in this year's draft. The Jets hold the ninth pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, and will be looking to upgrade at outside linebacker, wide receiver and offensive line.
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