It’s probably nothing more than a team doing their due dilligence, but the Green Bay Packers were one of the first teams to meet with Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o on Saturday.
Te’o was the center of the media’s attention at the combine after his offseason admission of being duped by an online girlfriend that didn’t exist. Te’o reportedly learned of the ruse in December, but kept talking about the fake woman in the media after that. The Packers, along with the 20 or so other teams Te’o has been meeting with, obviously asked about the situation.
The question seems to be one of trust and, perhaps surprisingly, and not about stupidity.
“They want to be able to trust their player,” Te’o said. “You don’t want to invest in someone they can’t trust. Everybody here, they’re just trying to get to know you. They’re trying to get to know you as a person and a football player.
“It could be a hurdle, but it could also be an opportunity to show how you really are. That’s the way I have approached it, and it’s been a big learning experience for me.”
On the field, Te’o turned in a season that saw him finish as the Heisman Trophy runner up. He tied for the FBS lead with seven interceptions and led Notre Dame to the national championship game.
The biggest knock on Te’o right now doesn’t seem to be the girlfriend hoax, but the fact that he and his team played like crap in their blowout loss to Alabama in the championship game.
When you add it all up, a lot of people are predicting Te’o will slide to the bottom of the first round. Mel Kiper originally had Te’o slotted as a top-five pick, but now has him going at No. 13. ESPN’s other draft guru, Todd McShay, has Te’o slipping to No. 20. The Packers pick at No. 26. NFL Network analyst Bucky Brooks has Te’o sliding all the way to that pick.
Could the Packers use a playmaking inside linebacker? You bet your ass they could.
Who knows how effective Desmond Bishop and D.J. Smith will be after returning from injury. Both ended the 2012 season on IR, with Bishop spending the whole season there. Then there’s the joke that is A.J. Hawk, who the Packers need to put out of his misery. Finally, there’s Brad Jones, who played well enough as a fill in, but is probably nothing more than a decent backup. He’s also a free agent.
It’s a group that inspires little more than a giant question mark right now.
Considering TT’s love of guys who are reliable, Te’o could be the pick if he falls far enough.
Personally, I was VERY unimpressed with the ass-kicking Te’o was given against Alabama, but he does have a knack for being around the ball and the Pack could use a guy like that.
The bottom line is production on the field and whether or not this kid has the passion desired to excel in the pro game. Now, he’ll never be confused with Ray Lewis or Brian Urlacher, but he does have tremendous value if you are unsure about the status or Smith and Bishop returning and if Brad Jones opts for a chance to start on another team. If those are question marks leading up to the draft and a secure plan is not in place, then yes, I could see the Packers trading minor off the field issues for overall production, which Te’o has.
I’d compare this to Seth McFarlane hosting the Oscars, looks pretty good on paper but set your expectations low and you might be surprised!
Bucky Brooks, NFL Draft self proclaimed guru recently had three QBs going in the Top 10 (about a month and a half ago) and when I declared that his scenario would be “highly unlikely” and went as far as to question his expertise on grading talent in the draft on NFL.com, the admin deleted my comments and meanwhile he subsequently changed his draft board…coincidence?
He reminds me of a Hawaiian AJ Hawk. AJ was a beast in college too, so I hope they stay away from him.
^. So don’t draft him because he was a beast in college. That’s stupid. I don’t blame the packers for drafting hawk. He just sucks now and u can’t say don’t draft T’eo cuz he’s was good in college and so was hawk. If your going to be drafted then u better be a beast in college playing against lower level caliber players
I would rather the Packers grab one of the 6 or so viable first round DTs, or an OL.
If we draft this asshole I predict he joins the like of Justin Harrell and Tony Mandarich. Until T’eo shows us his ACTUAL phone records I’m going to assume he’s a complete character risk and orchestrated this whole thing all the way. DON’T FUCKING DO IT!
Besides being a fucking walking toolbox, this guy is AJ Hawk version 2.0.
Complete character risk and potential massive scandal in the making. Guys, he faked a girlfriend so he could have an excuse to never hang out with girls and talk to a dude on the phone every night. Te’o is gay (which is totally cool and all that) and he lied to his teammates, his coaches, the fans, and the world. I don’t want a guy like that on my team, as it will make Finley look like a model citizen when he gets caught in the bathroom of Anduzzi’s with a busboy. PASS.
Forget his combine performance, forget his pathetic showing against Bama, forget trust….I believe in the motto “You can’t fix stupid.”