Manti Te’o had a lot to prove at his pro day today. After running a 4.71 40-yard-dash, the often criticized Notre Dame linebacker proved he deserves first round draft consideration.
Manti Te’o improved his 40-yard-dash time to 4.71 at his pro day compared to his disastrous scouting combine performance. At the scouting combine he ran it in 4.82 seconds. His scouting combine performance was enough to put his draft stock in question.
Teo’s pro day time should be enough to make him a first round draft pick again. At Notre Dame he led the defense, and was a main reason the fighting Irish went to the Championship game. He was considered a top 10 draft pick at that point.
When Manti Te’o got catfished, his world seemed to fall apart. Teams began to question his character as a football player and his abilities as a leader.
With so many questions, Te’o needed to give a strong showing at the scouting combine. He did not. His 40 yard dash time was poor for a linebacker and his draft stock plummeted further.
Entering his pro day, Te’o promised to improve his 40 yard dash time. He did. Scouts recorded his 40 yard dash time at 4.71 and 4.75, a much more desirable number for a linebacker. After his much improved performance, Te’o said:
“I felt good. I’m at home now. I was very pleased with how I performed.”
Manti Te’o's pro day times are unofficial. Notre Dame will not be giving official numbers to NFL teams for draft prospects.
A lot of weight is placed on an athlete’s 40 yard dash time. Speed is important for a number of positions in football. Linebackers are used to rush the passer and play in coverage, so good speed makes draft prospects more versatile. The same can be said for wide receivers and running backs. The faster you run, the more teams like you.
Manti Te’o made teams like him more today with an improved 40 yard dash time that probably put him back in the first round of the draft.
Do you think Manti Te’o will be drafted in the first round? What team will take him?