Manti Te'o could find perfect home with Colts

April 24, 2013
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

It will be difficult for the Indianapolis Colts to dramatically move the needle in terms of fan excitement with the 24th pick in this year’s NFL draft. It’s a long way from last year when Andrew Luck energized the fan base as the No. 1 pick.

But one intriguing prospect might be available—if not to team management, then certainly to fans. It’s difficult to ignore that most draft prognosticators have picked Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o to go very near where the Colts are drafting in the first round.

Several draft analysts have Te’o going No. 25 to the Minnesota Vikings. Reports out of New York say Te’o’s stock is rising and he could go as high as No. 19 to the Giants.

The Colts cupboard isn’t bare of linebackers. But it isn’t chock full of stars, either. The Colts are mostly filling the inside linebacker position—where Te’o played his last three years at Notre Dame—with young players still trying to prove they can be consistent contributors.

Most draft analysts think the Colts will seek help on defense, but whether Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson and team owner Jim Irsay want to take a chance on Te’o remains to be seen. ESPN draft prognosticator Mel Kiper Jr. thinks Indianapolis will opt for Florida State cornerback Xavier Rhodes.

Grigson isn’t tipping his hand, but said that if he sees a guy on the board who could be a future starter—no matter the position—who could help the team win a championship, he’ll think hard about taking him. That would appear to leave the door open for Te’o.

Of course, there are concerns with the ND grad. His 40-yard dash time was less than spectacular and there are questions about whether he’ll hold up on the NFL gridiron. His performance in the national championship game against Alabama and its pro-style offense was awful.

Of course, there’s also the whole girlfriend hoax fiasco. Grigson would have to ponder if Te’o would be a subtraction by distraction.

Indianapolis might be the perfect spot for Te’o to start his professional career. I won’t say the media is soft in this market, but local reporters will be more tender than those in a lot of markets. New York, as much as the Giants like Te’o, would be about the worst place for him to start.

And the fan base here, full of Golden Dome supporters, are likely to be more forgiving and understanding of his past—and perhaps a little more patient with his future development than fans in markets like the Big Apple. That’s not to say Colts fans won’t howl if things go wrong with Te’o here. But they’ll at least give him a chance to get his sea legs.

Te’o is familiar with the 3-4 defense Pagano likes to run, having played in that scheme at Notre Dome. But some NFL scouts fear Te’o may not have the size or strength to flourish in a 3-4 in the NFL. If those doubts drop Te’o’s stock as some have predicted, and he’s available to the Colts beyond the first round, he may be far too much of a bargain for Grigson to pass up despite whatever distractions he may bring.

With all the noise made over Te’o’s fake girlfriend and his slow 40-yard dash, it’s almost easy to forget how good this guy was over an extended period in South Bend.

At the end of 2012, he won eight postseason awards, becoming one of the most decorated collegiate football players of all time.

He won the Bronko Nagurski and Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year Lott trophies as well as the Maxwell, Chuck Bednarik, Butkus, Lombardi and Walter Camp awards. In addition, he was named a national scholar-athlete by the National Football Foundation.

Te'o had 437 tackles in his four-year Notre Dame career. He ranks third all-time in school history behind Bob Crable (521, 1978–81) and Bob Golic (479, 1975–78). He joins Crable as the second player in Notre Dame history to record more than 100 tackles in three consecutive seasons. Te’o also led ND in interceptions his senior season.

Before it was uncovered earlier this year that Te’o’s supposedly dead girlfriend was a hoax, he would have been just the type of player Colts fans would have almost unanimously embraced on and off the field. Te’o said he was duped into thinking his girlfriend was real, a story that was corroborated by Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the perpetrator of the hoax.

There’s little middle ground with Te’o. He seems to inspire great passion among football followers. Fans either think he’s going to be the next great NFL linebacker or, like his girlfriend, they consider him a fraud.

When the first round of the NFL draft concludes Thursday, we’ll have a better idea of what Grigson and the rest of the general managers and team owners think.

ADVERTISEMENT
  • coltsfan
    He may come in with a real chip on his shoulder and want to prove everyone wrong. I think he could be a good pick.
  • Call me maybe
    Manti, call me! Maybe we can go out again for another catfish dinner. You're a lot more real now that you and NFL star!
  • Seriously?
    It absolutely floors me that this young man's athletic prowess is still being overshadowed over by the fake girlfriend story. Get. Over. It.
  • Give me a break
    Do you really think Manti Te'o could be drafted in the first round by the Colts? They have 3 solid linebackers already with Angerer, Conner and Freeman. Mario Harvey is serviacable as well. My guess is that you just wanted to write about something that would get as many clicks as possible. This was an intriguing headline to your target audience with the draft in 24 hours, Manti being from an Indiana school, his stock on the decline after both the Alabama game & combine and Te'o being in the limelight for the fake gf story. However, even you can't actually think Te'o is a legit target of Grigson. I will just pretend for a moment that you do believe the Colts might consider drafting Manti Te'o. First, it is rediculous that you make the comment, "When the first round of the NFL draft concludes Thursday, we’ll have a better idea of what Grigson and the rest of the general managers and team owners think." This is completely false. Most mock drafts have Te'o going in the late first round to the middle of the second round. If Te'o is not drafted in the first round tomorrow, it will not tell us nothing other than he is likely to go in the second round where a lot of experts are projecting him to. All in all, this was just another piece of lazy journalism. Virtually every sports fan in Indianapolis is familiar with Manti's football accomplishments and off the field fake gf issues. This article would have been more interesting if you would have went into depth about how the Colts need another playmaker to go alongside Jerell Freeman. Or if you wanted to suggest that Angerer and Conner were Polian draft picks more cut out for a 4-3 system and unlikely to be resigned next year when their contracts expire. Perhaps you could have suggested that Mario Harvey was just a short term solution when Grigson made roster moves last year and it is vital the Colts add depth at MLB. Instead, you copy and pasted stats and awards from Manti's Notre Dame career which virtually all sports fans from Indianapolis are already well aware of.
  • Re: Give me a break
    Actually most mock drafts have him going 25th to the Vikings or 32nd to the Ravens. The Vikings like Notre Dame players, they currently have 5 (Kyle Rudolph, Harrison Smith, John Sullivan, John Carlson, R.J. Blanton). While I don't see the Colts drafting him he is definitely going in the first round. Calm down buddy. It was a good article and not completely out of the question for the Colts to look at him especially with Angerer having injury issues. I don't see them drafting him but it is not completely out of the equation which is what he is saying.
  • Doesn't show up every game
    Te'o will be a bust in the NFL. He is good for a few seasons, will be moved around between teams and won't be very successful. He had center stage vs. Alabama and didn't show up. Colts; don't waste a pick on him unless it is in the later rounds. I don't see him being a first round pick unless it is by a team that historically makes poor choices....
  • HA!
    Not even a first round pick! HA!

Post a comment to this blog

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
  1. Uh, sorry Johnnie, but you are incorrect. Despite the assertions by yourself and various defenders and captains, sports attendance is NOT off significantly at most sporting events in the US. Variances in attendance has been in the range of single digits, both + & - for years now. MLB has had most of its best overall attendance nubers in the last decade, and that trend has been consistent for most major sporting events. The number one issue cited by most fans when asked about attendance is the overall cost of attending. The presence of HD and big screen televisions in home doesn't even register, as a factor for not attending an event. VALUE in the product is the key, and apparently is something lacking in the current ICS. What other explanation is there when with what is routinely touted as the "best" racing on the planet, fans are staying away in DROVES. A "close" title battle into the last event at Fontana, with the "cars and stars" of the ICS, and who showed up? MAYBE 8K. Sorry, but HD TV isn't to blame for that kind of fan apathy.

  2. Do you need finance to establish your business ? Are you interested in getting a loan at 3% from our private company? If so please Email: suntrust_oil@blumail.org

  3. If she was worth the $ the public outcry over direct tv dropping them would have kept them on their dishes as we have seen with other companies. I too quit watching channel 13 after she showed up since I left channel 8 because of her all show rather than production results. When Randy on 8 corrected her she had a big head and incorrectly challenged his correction for pronunciation of a city. Other antics while she matures was too much for me with her very inaccurate forecasts. All the forecasters were predicting rain until Thursday except Chris. They predicted sunny on Thursday but instead of rain until Thursday upon which the sun would finally make it out in full glory Chris was right on the money just as I too predicted looking at the radar on weather.gov. One thing I love about Angela is the fear you can see in her every time it thunders in the winter. It far exceeds the entertainment value of her body language (high heel noise drags, depression, etc) when her forecasts are so incorrect. Her hair stands on end, you have to see it!!!

  4. Good Day, Apply For A Loan I am Mr Fernadez Antonio, a private Loan lender and a cooperate financial for real estate and any kinds of business financing. I also offer Loans to individuals, Firms and cooperate bodies at 3% interest rate We offer any kind of loans. email us via fernadezloaninvest@outlook.com LOAN APPLICATION FORM First name:......................... Middle name:......................... Last name:........................................ Date of birth (yyyy-mm-dd):....................... Gender:........................................... Marital status:................................... Total Amount Needed............................... Loan Duration.................................... Address:.......................................... City:............................................. State/province:................................... Zip/postal code:.................................. Country:.......................................... Phone:............................................ Fax:.............................................. Mobile/cellular:.................................. Monthly Income.................................... Occupation:....................................... Best Regard, Mr Fernadez Antonio.

  5. i will love to share my testimony to you all the people in world i got married to my husband about 2 year ago we start having problems at home like we stop sleeping on the same bed,fighting about little things he always comes home late at night,drinking too much and sleeping with other women out side i have never love any man in my life except him. he is the father of my child and i don't want to loose him because we have worked so hard together to become what we are and have today .few month ago he now decided to live me and the kid,being a single mother can be hard sometimes and so i have nobody to turn to and i was heart broken.i called my mom and explain every thing to her,my mother told me about DR.okoro how he helped her solve the problem between her and my dad i was surprise about it because they have been without each other for three and a half years and it was like a miracle how they came back to each other. i was directed to DR. okoro on his email:okorospell@gmail.com and explain everything to him,so he promise me not to worry that he will cast a spell and make things come back to how we where so much in love again and that it was another female spirit that was controlling my husband he told me that my problem will be solved within two days if i believe i said OK So he cast a spell for me and after two days my love came back asking me to forgive him i Am so happy now. so that why i decided to share my experience with every body that have such problem contact Dr okoro the great spell caster on his email addresses spellcasterforlove@outlook.com

ADVERTISEMENT