Draft Scout Snapshot: A closer look at the Chargers' picks: Round 2/38 - Manti Te'o, ILB, 6-1, 241, Notre Dame...With a glaring hole at inside linebacker, the Chargers likely found someone to start opposite Donald Butler. Did Te'o's off-field distractions cause him to drop to the second round? Maybe, and the Chargers couldn't be happier. - The Sports Xchange
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04/29/13 - A closer look at the Chargers' picks: Round 2/38 - Manti Te'o, ILB, 6-1, 241, Notre Dame...With a glaring hole at inside linebacker, the Chargers likely found someone to start opposite Donald Butler. Did Te'o's off-field distractions cause him to drop to the second round? Maybe, and the Chargers couldn't be happier. - The Sports Xchange
04/29/13 - First-year general manager Tom Telesco didn't hesitate making the trade with Atlanta with Te'o still on the board. "We thought, on our defense, we were missing that other inside linebacker," he said. "Te'o can step in. We thought he was the most instinctive and productive linebacker in the draft. He's going to fit in excellent with our 3-4 defense with how we're going to play our linebackers. He's going to complement Donald Butler really well. We thought in order to get him we had to be aggressive and go up and do it." - The Sports Xchange
04/29/13 - The Chargers filled a void at inside linebacker by drafting Te'o in the second round at No. 38 overall. To get Te'o, a Heisman Trophy finalist last season, the team swapped second-round picks and surrendered its fourth-round pick, No. 114 overall, to Arizona and moved up seven spots. "It's a perfect scenario," Te'o said. "My parents can come and watch, I can go home, it's San Diego. We're all excited. I can't be any happier. Just looking forward to getting up there and getting this whole thing started." - The Sports Xchange
04/29/13 - Inside linebacker Manti Te'o knows he arrives in San Diego with a back story that few players have ever had after being duped by a fake girlfriend during his time at Notre Dame. But Te'o just shrugs, saying he doesn't worry about it. "I can't control what people say," he said. Honestly, I don't pay too much attention to that." - The Sports Xchange
04/28/13 - The general consensus before the draft was the Vikings were targeting Notre Dame middle linebacker Manti Te'o with either the 23rd or 25th picks in the first round. But despite a need at middle linebacker and an infatuation with Notre Dame players, the Vikings passed on Te'o with both of their scheduled picks and again when they traded back into the first round to take Tennessee receiver Cordarrelle Patterson 29th overall. General manager Rick Spielman stopped a reporter who said it was "obvious" the Vikings had no interest in Te'o all along. "I wouldn't say we didn't have interest," Spielman said. "I would say Te'o is an extremely talented football player who is going to have a great NFL career."
Te'o finally was taken in the second round, 38th overall, by the Chargers. "After being around Te'o, he's an even better person than a football player," Spielman said. "It just didn't work out, but we were able to get some significant needs filled with some players on our board who we felt were very talented. I don't have any question in my mind that Manti Te'o is going to be a heck of a football player in the NFL." - The Sports Xchange
04/25/13 - DANE BRUGLER'S FINAL 2013 DRAFT BOARD: 34. MLB Manti Te'o, Notre Dame (6-1, 241, 4SR)...A determined, smart football player, Te'o has room to improve his on-field anticipation and consistency. Plus, the off-field concerns make his draft stock hazy. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
04/25/13 - ROB RANG'S FINAL 2013 NFL DRAFT BIG BOARD: 36. Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame: Other than a BCS title game in which Alabama's incredible offensive line simply powered through the Irish's defensive line to get to him, Te'o proved to be a reliably consistent defender throughout his career. Ignore the hype. He'll prove a solid starter in the NFL. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
04/24/13 - The former Notre Dame linebacker was considered a top-five pick early in his senior season. Then a poor showing against Alabama in the national championship game coupled with the news that he had a fake, dead Internet girlfriend sent his draft stock tumbling. That was the perception, anyway. In reality, Te'o still could be a first-round pick. A handful of analysts and scouts thought so after Te'o's pro day in late March, although now, two days out from the draft, obfuscation rules and it's almost impossible to differentiate smoke screens from truth.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Bob McGinn spoke to scouts for the latest on Te'o. Overall, the reviews were positive: "In the grand scheme of it, yeah, he's a pretty good player. He's a second-round talent," one scout told McGinn. "I think he's everything you need in a 'mike' backer," another scout added. "He plays sideline to sideline. He plays faster than the timed speed. He's able to key and diagnose quickly. And he's hungry." "Probably didn't make as many tackles as A.J. (Hawk), but I don't see a big difference," a third scout observed. "Notre Dame put their reputation on this kid, and I don't think they would have if he wasn't a hell of a kid." But it's this next comment that will likely catch people's attention. "We've kind of taken him off the board," another scout told McGinn. "He doesn't have enough ability to put up with all that. Why fool with it? Try-hard, smart (Wonderlic of 23) guy. This was the first year he's really gotten himself in shape. Some of his teammates think he's kind of a phony." - Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com
04/10/13 - Manti Te'o's stock has fluctuated between a late-first and second-round pick amongst the litany of mock drafts that have been published in recent weeks. If the former Notre Dame middle linebacker is selected by the Detroit Lions, he will almost certainly last beyond the opening night of this month's NFL Draft. Te'o visited the Lions Tuesday at the team's facility in Allen Park, Mich., according to DetroitLions.com. After a 4-12 finish in 2012, the Lions have the No. 5 overall pick in the first round.
Te'o, the 2012 Maxwell, Chuck Bednarik and Walter Camp Award winner, is intent on proving that he's a three-down linebacker in the pros. During Te'o's draft training at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., he has worked on improving his technique when forced to shed blockers on the second-level. In 2012, Te'o set the Notre Dame single-season record for interceptions with seven. The interception total was the highest by a linebacker in FBS since 2001. "I can always get better and I'm going to get better, but if anyone questioned my ability to cover, I had seven interceptions,” Te'o told DetroitLions.com. “That should say, ‘Hey, he has the ability to play three-down football.'" - Matt Rybaltowski, CBSSports.com
03/30/13 - Manti Te'o completed his pro day at Notre Dame on Tuesday and the results were pretty good, potentially vaulting him into a first-round lock when the 2013 NFL Draft rolls around. But "potentially" isn't enough to convince Te'o to attend the draft in New York City. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Te'o has already turned down two invitations to attend the 2013 NFL Draft. It's hard to blame Te'o for avoiding New York over draft weekend like the plague.
The Big Apple becomes a NFL zoo, with players standing on buildings, questions and interviews galore and, most importantly, a three-day televised event watched by the whole world. A worst-case scenario for Te'o involves him not being picked in the first round and having not just a Thursday-night's worth of cameras on him for three or so hours, but an additional day of speculation leading up to Friday's second round.
Even if he went No. 1 overall, the television coverage of Te'o leading up to the draft would be brutal. And seeing Te'o go in the first round is the likely scenario, but it's far from guaranteed. He'll still be prominently mentioned. (Don't even get me started on what will happen on Twitter once he's shown on camera answering his phone.) And Te'o will still very much be a major storyline. But he's wise to make sure that the cameras don't have a chance to key in on him during an awkward green room hangout. - Will Brinson, CBSSports.com