Manti Te'o's 40-yard dash wasn't as fast as some expected, while others already had him tabbed as a 4.8 guy before the Scouting Combine.
He was pretty fluid in the agility and backpedal drills, but overall, relative to other linebackers, the Notre Dame star was underwhelming.
Now that the dust has settled on his high-profile performance, what are the experts saying?
I'm not sure that we are going to put a lot of emphasis. We are today and yesterday. It's a big story. Because he ran slower than what everyone thought he would run. But, I keep coming back to this—somebody's 40 time in the Combine is not going to make somebody not draft him...I just don't think a lot of teams look at Manti Te'o running a 4.81 and say "well, he's off our board." In fact, I know they don't. It's a factor. But there are 100 factors.
King hits a home run with this analysis.
Sure, during Combine week, Te'o's "slower" 40 time will be a hot topic. But it'd be surprising if a team that loved his tape takes him off its board because of his time in that sprint.
Te'o is certainly one of the guys who's better on the field than he is in Under Armor.
Bucky Brooks wrote this about Te'o in a reactionary Combine article:
Now, his numbers don't detract from the fact that he is a remarkable football player with outstanding instincts, and he confirmed that he has some of those traits by flowing quickly in positional drills. He also looked natural when dropping in space, and he caught the ball better than the majority of defenders in attendance. With most coaches still curious about his lateral skills and explosiveness, Te'o will need to put on a better performance at his pro day workout to retain his upper-level spot on draft boards across the league.
Brooks essentially echoed the sentiments of King. He's right about his Pro Day, though. On his own turf, in what should be a more comfortable setting, general managers and head coaches and scouts would love to see Te'o run better.
Here's what John Clayton said he learned from Manti Te'o's Combine performance:
Te'o ran a 4.82 40 and could have possibly dropped out of the first round. Teams need fast linebackers who can drop into coverage and chase down tight ends or fast running backs. Unless Te'o improves that 4.82, he might get some second-round grades. This doesn't mean he can't be an every-down player...The good news for Te'o is that he has time to improve his 40.
Although it would be surprising if Te'o fell out of the first round, there is definitely reason to believe teams have a second-round grade on him.
Teams may get too enamored with his relatively poor showing at the Combine, and some may just not like the stiffness they saw on tape.
Gregg Rosenthal wrote the following about Te'o's Combine effort, giving a slightly different take:
Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o didn't particularly help himself with a slow 40-yard dash time Monday. He was decent in the drills. But what did people expect? Te'o never was about long speed. His speed clearly topped out after 20 yards. Greg Cosell of NFL Films told me it should have no real impact on Te'o's draft stock. 'That's who he is,' Cosell said.
The consensus: Te'o was a late first-round pick all along. He probably will remain there.
Spot-on. Mel Kiper Jr. unfairly elevated Te'o's stock by suggesting the Kansas City Chiefs take the linebacker with the No. 1 overall pick mid-way through the 2012 season.
Te'o doesn't have Patrick Willis-esque athletic talents and is much more in the Curtis Lofton or David Harris mold.