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2013 NFL mock draft: Manti Te'o to New York Giants

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In need of a middle linebacker, the Giants could pick one of the draft's most controversial figures.

Jonathan Daniel

The New York Giants are re-tooling defensively, and though the team has options at middle linebacker (chiefly Dan Connor and perhaps Mark Herzlich), they also lack a clear-cut starter. We've heard of a guy from Notre Dame that could provide the position a bit of clarity.

Team Player Position Height Weight Class
49. New York Giants Manti Te'o, Notre Dame LB 6'1" 241 SR

Ed Valentine: "When I started researching possible players to select with this pick I was stunned to see Te’o still on the board. Despite what you may think of his judgment in the girlfriend hoax, his so-so combine performance and his poor performance against Alabama in the national title game Te’o is a great find for the Giants at No. 49.

"There are still some analysts who think the Giants, who have made upgrading their linebacking unit and run defense priorities this off-season, could take Te’o in the first round at No. 19. Despite having signed middle linebacker Dan Connor in free agency, Te’o is a great marriage of value and need for the Giants with this pick.

"Most analysts beleive Te’o is a better linebacker prospect than Kevin Minter (32nd to Baltimore) and Sio Moore (33rd to Jacksonville). Some will even argue he’s a better pro prospect than Alec Ogletree (15th to New Orleans).

"To me, this is a fortunate, fantastic find for the Giants at this point in the draft."

Here's our own Dan Kadar to break down the pick:

Similar to Matt Barkley, no fan seems to want Manti Te’o on their team. Te’o may not be a superstar player in the NFL, but it’s hard to imagine him being anything less than a dependable starter. For as much as people want flash and potential in the draft, there’s more value in a player that can be relied on for years. That’s the type of player Te’o should be. It’s easy to point at his play against Alabama and laugh. Go back, though, and watch him against Florida State two years ago. Or against Miami and Oklahoma last season. Te’o is not flawless in those games. But they showed a player that can lead a defense, put his teammates in the right position and make several solid plays.

The Chicago Bears and Windy City Gridiron will round out the week for this mock draft with the No. 50 overall pick at 3PM ET.

Top 5 players remaining

# Player Pos. College Ht. Wt.
32 Khaseem Greene LB Rutgers 6'1" 241
33 Jamie Collins LB Southern Miss 6'3" 250
34 Logan Ryan * CB Rutgers 5'11" 190
42 Sam Montgomery * DE LSU 6'3" 262
44 Brandon Jenkins OLB Notre Dame 6'2" 251

2013 SB Nation NFL writers' mock draft results

Giants picks

Rd # Team Player Pos. College
1 19 New York Giants Sheldon Richardson DT Missouri
2 49 New York Giants Manti Te'o LB Notre Dame