The San Diego Chargers chose former Notre Dame Fight Irish linebacker Manti Te’o in round two of last week’s NFL Draft and chose former California Golden Bears wide receiver Keenan Allen in round three.
Te’o was involved in a fake girlfriend hoax at Notre Dame when the public found out that Lennay Kekua did not pass away because she did not exist. Kekua was created by Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, a man who claimed to be in love with Te’o. While Te’o claimed that he was not a part of the deception, this controversy was a big issue heading into the draft.
Te’o and his teammates were embarrassed in the 2013 National Title Game and lost 42-14, so this also contributed to him dropping in the draft. There could have been some owners, general managers and coaches who questioned Te’o's character due to the hoax and wondered if he knew all along.
Allen tore his PCL last year in October and his drug test at the NFL Combine had a red flag placed on it, questioning if he tested positive for a drug or drugs. According to John Breech of cbssports.com, Allen said “I think it was all a mistake. The red flag definitely wasn’t a failed drug test.”
Allen was projected to be a mid-first round pick or early second-round pick, while Te’o was expected to go from anywhere between 19-32 in round one. Te’o was the runner up for the Heisman Trophy in the 2012 NCAA season, while Allen is the University of California’s all-time leader in receptions.
Te’o and Allen will have opportunities to contribute immediately with San Diego because the Chargers do not have a guaranteed starter at inside linebacker and lack depth at wide receiver. Hopefully, the controversy that surrounded Te’o and Allen will stay in the past and they will contribute to a team that needs an upgrade at both positions.