2013 NFL Draft: Would the Detroit Lions Consider Manti Te'o at No. 5?

By Dan Parzych
(Matthew Emmons/USA Today Sports)

Everybody knew it would be difficult for the Detroit Lions to return to the playoffs for the second-straight season, but nobody could have expected them to be as bad as they were in 2012 with a 4-12 record. With the fifth overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Lions certainly have numerous areas in need of improvement if they have any chance of competing in the NFC North, but defense may be the best approach for the first round in April–which is why the team should strongly consider Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Manti Te’o.

Despite everything that’s happened this week surrounding Te’o and the controversy of him being involved with a hoax after finding out his dead girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, never existed to begin with, it’s difficult to ignore the type of impact the Notre Dame linebacker could have on the Lions’ defense as a rookie. Te’o played a major role in helping the Irish contain one of the top defenses in college football throughout the regular season and there was a reason why he finished in second place for the Heisman this year–so he’s certainly worth the consideration for Detroit at No. 5.

As bad as it sounds, Te’o’s draft stock will most likely take a huge hit because of this incident and it’s unlikely any of the four teams selecting before Detroit will consider adding the linebacker to their squad for the 2013 season. The Lions already have one of the top offenses in the league thanks to a dynamic duo of Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson–so maybe considering a defender like Te’o may not be so crazy to consider in the first round once the draft rolls around in April.

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