Manti Te'o certainly didn't hurt his draft stock at his pro day at Notre Dame on Tuesday, March 26.
The inside linebacker ran faster in the 40-yard dash at South Bend than he did in Indianapolis, according to multiple reports, including this one from ESPN's Josina Anderson:
According to ESPN's Matt Fortuna, Notre Dame says he ran faster:
It's worth noting that Vaugh McClure of the Chicago Tribune reported, "an official timer was not in attendance," on Tuesday. Hand times are typically a bit faster than the electronic "official" times at the combine, and Te'o's time on Tuesday didn't change the fact that he's not an explosive athlete.
That doesn't mean he's not a first-round linebacker prospect, but it does mean his draft stock won't skyrocket after his pro day.
Other NFL insiders, like NFL Network's Albert Breer, continue to hearken back to the tape as the ultimate measuring stick:
NFL Network draft guru Mike Mayock said on NFL AM (via NFL.com's Marc Sessler), "You either like this kid and you believe he's a three-down linebacker and hence worthy of a first-round pick, or you don't."
After his workout concluded, Te'o spoke with members of the media, including McClure:
"I felt good. I'm at home now," Te'o said. "I was very pleased with how I performed." A Notre Dame official said the consensus among scouts was that Te'o ran "a little better" than at the combine. "I just expected me to run faster than I did at the combine," Te'o said. "That's exactly what I did."
Te'o also informed the media that he won't be attending the draft in person in New York, opting to, "remain in South Bend for workouts," per McClure's report.
His 40 time doesn't match up with that of other top inside linebackers to come out of the draft in recent years. Luke Kuechly, for example, ran a 4.58 40 last year, and Patrick Willis ran his in 4.51 seconds when he came out in 2007.
Te'o is a first-round linebacker, but he won't likely be drafted until the mid-20s. His pro day showed us the same level of explosiveness and athleticism we've seen since the scouting process began.
He isn't an elite athlete, but he is a highly talented player who will be drafted in the first round on April 25, 2013.
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