ESPN Could Not Sell Manti: Draft Notes from the First Round
After a wild first round, our early arguments that Manti Te'o should not and would not be included in the first round have been vindicated. Todd McShay said that Te'o would not slide, but I disagreed. At every point in this draft process, I have argued that Te'o did not have a high draft stock and that he should be omitted from the first round.
Eventually, due to chatter fueled by ESPN, I put Te'o on my Round 1 mock draft but omitted his name from the Breitbart Sports Big Board which included the top 100 prospects. I have remained steadfast that Te'o did not belong in the first round.
Obviously, I am not perplexed by the Notre Dame linebacker's omission from Round 1. However, I continue to wonder why ESPN has dogmatically promoted Te'o, consistently claiming his stock was rising despite all evidence to the contrary. The grade that has been placed on him by McShay and Kiper is inconsistent with his ability and the network has made excuses for each of the holes in his game.
While it is unknown why the network refuses to accurately portray the linebacker, his fall to the second round will be one of the major stories of Round 1. Here are some others:
- No running back was taken in the first round for the first time in 50 years. Alabama's Eddie Lacy is likely to come off the board early in Round 2.
- E.J. Manuel, ranked as the #1 QB in the Breitbart Sports Big Board was the only quarterback taken in Round 1. Geno Smith and Ryan Nassib had realistic chances, but ESPN object of affection was not a serious option there.
- Offensive line and pass rushers was the name of the game, and the first seven picks and 9 of the first 11 addressed those areas.
- Surprise fallers included Sharrif Floyd and Cordarelle Patterson who both went to the Vikings. The team used three draft picks in the twenties to add three dynamic players (the other being Xavier Rhoades) who will significantly upgrade their team.
- Surprise risers include D.J. Fluker, E.J. Manuel, Kyle Long, and Travis Frederick.
- The most surprising pick of the draft had to be the Dolphins, long rumored to want a tackle, trading up to take Dion Jordan with the #3 overall pick.
- In addition to pegging Manuel as the #1 QB, Breitbart Sports predicted Te'o, Geno Smith, and Matt Barkley would NOT be included in Round 1. Also, contrary to others, we ranked Eric Fisher #1 and had him as the #1 pick in our full coverage of the NFL Draft.
- According to our Big Board, #13 Jonathan Cyprien, #16 Arthur Brown, #22 Kevin Minter, #23 Margus Hunt, #30 Justin Hunter, #31 Geno Smith, and #32 Tank Carradine are the top rated prospects available heading into Round 2.