Manti Te’o experienced a modest improvement in his performance in the forty yard dash at his Pro Day Tuesday. Previously, the linebacker made headlines for a poor 4.82 time during the NFL Combine.
ESPN was quick to report unofficial times of 4.71 and 4.75. However, given the track record of unofficial times reported during the NFL Combine, it is certainly reasonable to expect that the times were actually slower than what is being gleefully reported by ESPN.
The network continues to be highly favorable in their coverage of the controversial linebacker, a stark contrast to their coverage of the only other player of equal controversy: Tim Tebow.
If the 4.71 time holds, that would be consistent with game film from the 12 games Te’o played in that did not feature any NFL caliber players and would put him firmly in the middle of the first round. The linebacker’s performance against Alabama and the off-the-field concerns place him much lower.
I continue to believe that Te’o is, at best, a mid-second round level pick. However, with some gaping holes at middle linebacker for the Bengals, Giants, Bears, Vikings, and Ravens, it is possible than Te’o gets drafted higher than ought to be expected.