The NFL combine is upon us and one of the biggest questions is where will Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Manti Te’o be drafted. Te’o is a first round talent and should be drafted accordingly, but interesting things happen in the NFL draft. Randy Moss dropped 21 slots in the draft due to off-the-field problems. Aaron Rodgers was ignored by teams before the Green Bay Packers snacthed him up at pick 24.
Te’o expressed that he is done talking about the hoax and is focused on moving forward and the combine. Te’o should focus on his future because he has tremendous upsides and will be addition to the team that selects him.
One team that is in desperate need of a linebacker and is drafting in a position low enough to take a chance on Te’o is the Chicago Bears. The Bears have not been one of the top scouting/ drafting teams in the last decade and Te’o could be their shot at a successful first round draft pick. Bears fans cringe when being reminded of first round blunders Chris Williams, David Terrell, Curtis Enis, Cade McNown, Rashaan Salaam and Michael Haynes (who?).
Why wouldn’t the Bears select Te’o, who could be a perfect fit to replace Brian Urlacher. Te’o would bring youth and toughness to the Bears aging defense.
Although it is difficult for fans to admit Urlacher has slowed down a bit, it is time for him to move on or at least move positions. Te’o could bring run support to the Bears, controlling the front seven is something he did for four years at Notre Dame. Te’o also brings the ability to drop back into coverage and clog up the middle. Te’o had seven interceptions at Notre Dame last season–the most of any linebacker in the country.
Imagine Te’o alongside Lance Briggs, with Urlacher switched to weak side linebacker. The Bears could be back to having a top linebacker core.
Will the Bears draft Te’o? Possibly, although prognosticators also said former Notre Dame receiver Michael Floyd would be wearing a Bears uniform. Floyd was drafted 13th by the Arizona Cardinals in 2012.
Unlike Floyd, Te’o should be available when the Bears draft. For new GM Phil Emery, it will the first step in showing if he will follow the trend of a first round Chicago Bears mishap or make a slam dunk by drafting Te’o.