Jan 7, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Manti Te

Tennessee Titans: When Drafting Te’o Would be Acceptable

The Tennessee Titans are evaluating everything this offseason. The fact that MLB Colin McCarthy has struggled with injuries through his first couple years in the NFL certainly has him under their magnifying glass, and he knows it:

Until I stop getting hurt and can stay on the field for 16 games, that is going to be something for people to talk about,” said McCarthy, a fourth-round pick in 2011. “It is going to be an issue. It’s unfortunate. I don’t know if it’s bad luck or whatever, but hopefully it will turn.

McCarthy is a great player, but when he’s not on the field, it hurts the Titans big time. The Titans will at least be looking for depth at LB this year. With McCarthy being in question, they could look for a replacement, or at least someone to split reps with.

Before this whole fake girlfriend thing came to light, Te’o looked like he’d be a 1st round pick, easy. Now, things almost certainly will change. According the Matt Miller of B/R, some teams have taken Te’o right of their boards. They don’t care to deal with any drama or character concerns. Te’o already had some

November 24, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Manti Te

speed concerns surrounding him. Coupled with a poor performance in the BCS championship, Te’o has plenty to prove at the combine and will probably have hurt himself by turning down an invite to the Senior Bowl.

So where will he fall to? That’s the question.

The draft is unpredictable. Akeem Ayers seemed locked to go in the 1st round a few years ago, but the Titans snagged him in the 2nd. Vontaze Burfict made waves with off-the-field issues before the draft, had a poor combine,  and he ended up going undrafted after he had previously been pegged as possibly being a top-5 pick.

Te’o’s situation certainly is unique. He created a media explosion, one that teams certainly wouldn’t like centering around them. In the end, it’ll probably come down to how his interviews go. He’ll really have to prove that he’s just that innocent and gullible of a guy. Whether teams buy it or not will make all the difference in his draft stock.

Say the Titans buy it, I could see them taking a flyer on Te’o if he’s still on the board in the 3rd or 4th round. If he is the innocent kid he claims to be, he seems to be a guy after Munchak’s own heart.

As long as this drama blows over and Te’o comes out on the innocent side, it’s memory will fade in a year, especially if Te’o has a strong rookie season. If Ray Lewis can be so celebrated after being linked to some horrific homicides, I think the world can forgive Te’o for being a innocent and naive young man.

Unless he isn’t. It’s a vicious circle that never ends…

What do you think? David Climer of the Tennessean says hell no.


You can find me on Twitter @JustinLStewart

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Tags: AFC South Manti Te'o NFL Draft Tennessee Titans

  • Modesto Koczwara

    I would bet the whole publicity story will affect Te’o’s draft status a lot because coaches do not want people who will just lie to their face.

    • josh gunnels

      Obviously not. but I don’t think this story is that cut and dry. Coaches take talent over people with serious issues. He’ll drop for sure, but not as far as the 3rd round.

      • http://www.titansized.com/ Justin Stewart

        We’ll see Gunnels…. WE’LL SEE! ha ha ha

  • josh gunnels

    I don’t know. Remember Janoris Jenkins last year? Fisher and the Rams got top 10 talent in the second round. And his issues were a lot worse than Teo’s . Assuming Teo was just too embarrassed after being duped to come clean, and he falls to the second round, I think you have to pull the trigger. Best MLB in the draft in the second round sounds pretty awesome to me.

    • http://www.titansized.com/ Justin Stewart

      Yeah, but Jenkins was a different type. His involved marijuana. He also didn’t have any questions surrounding his talent headed into the draft.

      Who knows what these GM’s and coaches talk about.

  • Brandon Paille

    I’ve never been on board the Teo hype train. So I’m not really looking for us to draft him at all to be truthful. However, if we didn’t have McCarthy as MLB I could see it, but it just doesn’t seem to be a position of need, nor do I feel that he is an upgrade over a healthy McCarthy.

    • http://www.titansized.com/ Justin Stewart

      The question is, will McCarthy ever be fully healthy? Health was what knocked him down in the draft when he came out of college and it has haunted him so far. Most of it seems like bad luck.

      Hopefully that’s all it is.

  • http://www.thisweekinmotors.com/ Justin Snyder

    I’d be disappointed if they wasted a draft pick on this guy. Not because of character concerns but because he’s not good enough to draft before the 4th round.

    • http://www.titansized.com/ Justin Stewart

      What are some of the biggest knocks you have on him. I know his speed is certainly in question, but what else is a flaw in his game? I still haven’t watched loads of tape on him.

      • Shawn Eagle

        His speed is one of his biggest assets….he can run and cover ground but like you saw in the NC game…he gets caught up in the was too often and he’s not a banger. He’s not going to rip anybody’s head off. More finesse than power

        • http://www.titansized.com/ Justin Stewart

          Ah. I had a bad source. Did some more searching. You are correct. Strange. He seems to have the size and heart to hit hard. Guess he doesn’t have that instinct.

    • josh gunnels

      He did have a meltdown on the big stage. I would be a little concerned about his ability to take on MJD and Arian Foster 1 on 1.

      • http://www.titansized.com/ Justin Stewart

        He blamed that on learning that his GF wasn’t real. Emotional turmoil.

        • josh gunnels

          Well then i don’t want him. I want a MLB that would have been so pissed he would have decapitated Lacy, not let him shuffle on by because he was too sad to tackle. BS.