Did Manti Te'o Erase Any Questions About Girlfriend Hoax at the NFL Combine?
He certainly did. That is, of course, unless you think he didn't.
You see, at this point, the Te'o situation has developed into its own entity. Some people have believed him from day one. Others are never going to believe. Other folks don't particularly care one way or the other about the girlfriend story.
The NFL is no different in that regard.
You see, everyone talks about the NFL and draft stock as though it is some single leviathan where the draft stock elevator goes up and down. The idea is that a player meeting with the media or running a bad 40 time raises or drops his draft stock for the entire league.
In other words, people forget that the NFL is a group of 32 organizations, each with their own draftboard and their own set of personalities—individual personalities that are using different criteria to grade and rank players.
General Manager from Team A was over the Te'o saga after the first day. Head Coach for Team B did not buy the story that Te'o sold to Katie Couric or to him at the combine. Defensive coordinator for Team C felt comfortable enough after talking to Te'o to make the kid from Notre Dame his top overall inside backer.
Do you think Manti Te'o did enough to calm down the girlfriend situation?
Oh, and then there is Team D, who never cared because they don't need a linebacker.
Getting drafted as high as possible is not about this amorphous ideal of a universal draft stock. Getting drafted is about proving to a team that they need you and your services. It's about proving that you're a healthy addition to their locker room and that when you hit the field you'll fit their system and be productive.
If you're a Te'o supporter, your hope shouldn't be on the draft stock. Rather, it should be looking at teams with a need at his position and hoping they fall into the Team A or Team C type category. That's how he ends up getting picked in that first round.
Te'o did exactly what he's been doing; answering the questions as best he can and letting people draw their own conclusions. That's enough for some, not enough for others and that's the best Te'o can do. Ultimately, barring new information, the best way to silence the questions is with time. The further removed we get from the fiasco, the more it comes back to just plain football.
And football is what's going to get Te'o drafted.
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