Te'O didn't impress at the combine, but does it help or hurt the Giants chances of landing the Notre Dame LB?
After Big Blue buttons up their own free agents, look to sign others and scout their prospective draft day targets, general manager Jerry Reese will sit down in the "War Room" and call the phone numbers of players who might one day become legends in the Big Apple.
One particular area that will be of interest to Reese and Co. is the position of linebacker. Mathias Kiwaunka and Mark Herzlich are the only players who saw the field last season who will be returning to Big Blue next season, and although Keith Rivers and Chase Blackburn may be gone, nothing is ever guaranteed.
Even so, the Giants need to look for a general to place in the middle of the field, who can add a spark to a defense that certainly looked lackluster during the 2012 campaign. Two of those linebackers, Georgia's Alec Ogletree and Notre Dame's Manti Te'o, have a chance at still being in the Green Room when the Giants are on the clock at pick No. 19.
Character concerns are a factor for both players, and at one time, the Giants were pretty notorious for not using draft picks on players with a cloudy past. Reese broke the rule and used a third round pick on Jayron Hosely during the 2012 draft, even though the cornerback had failed his drug test at the combine.
This doesn't necessarily mean that Reese will be ready and willing to do it again, but it certainly leaves the door a bit more open.
Ogletree was suspended four games last season by Georgia head coach Mark Richt for a failed drug test that occurred in the spring. It doesn't end there, however, Ogletree just this month was caught speeding, and after officers smelled alcohol, was also cited with a DUI.
Those problems might be too plentiful for Reese to risk a top pick on, but Ogletree was once considered a sure-fire top-10 prospect, and landing him at No. 19 would be incredible.
Nobody needs a re-hash of the Manti Te'o situation. Te'o is guilty of nothing other than being naive, and maybe too sheltered. If anything, his abysmal time in the 40-yard dash should hurt him more than having a fake girlfriend.
Speaking of that horrible 40 time, Te'o was anything but impressive today at the combine. His time of 4.82 ranked him 20th out of only 26 participants. Ogletree ran a more impressive 4.70. The remaining combine events tilted slightly in Ogletree's favor.
He cranked out 20 bench press reps (Te'o didn't lift), had a broad jump of 122 inches, good for sixth overall and a 3-cone drill time of 4.39, which puts him right behind Te'o, seventh overall.
Size is always a concern for linebackers, but Ogletree and Te'o are made from the same Herculean cloth. Ogletree stands at 6'2", and tips the scales at 242 pounds. These numbers come in only a tick above Te'o's, who is an inch shorter, and one pounds lighter. Ogletree does have slightly bigger hands, and longer arms than Te'o.
What cannot be measured at the combine, or maybe any other place, is what's inside the head. Ogletree carries a little too much risk for my liking, and I find it very hard to believe that their isn't a player in the entire draft with a bigger chip on their shoulder right now than Te'o.
If we were talking about a second or third round pick, Ogletree might be worth the risk. We are a mere month and a half removed from Te'o being considered one of the safest picks in the draft, and I believe Reese will look past the Catfish scandal and a poor combine, and take Te'o over Ogletree, should they both be available?
Hey, if not, there's always Xavier Rhodes, right?