NFL Combine: Teams Have Every Right to Be Concerned With Notre Dame LB Manti Te’o

(John David Mercer/USA Today Sports)

With all of the controversy surrounding the hoax incident and a poor performance in the National Championship, there’s no question the draft stock of Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Manti Te’o has been on the decline over the last couple of weeks with the 2013 NFL Draft just a few weeks away. Despite everything that’s happened over the last couple of months, Te’o strongly believes what happened off the field shouldn’t take away from what he can do on the field, but Heisman finalist needs to realize it may not be as easy as he thinks.

The fact that Te’o kept the lie going longer than he should have will make teams cautious about whether or not they can really trust him–especially after all of the leadership he displayed as a member of the Fighting Irish. While it’s difficult not to feel bad for Te’o for being a victim of the hoax, he did make the decision to hold off on the decision to come out with the truth instead of clarifying everything right away.

There’s no question Te’o has the skills and work ethic to make an immediate impact for plenty of teams in the NFL, but he has a lot to prove over the next couple of months if anyone is going to take a chance on him. Give Te’o credit for having confidence in himself when it comes to his accomplishments on the football field, but he needs to realize his off-the-field actions will be seen as a reason for concern to most teams–whether he wants to accept it or not.

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