Would Manti Te'o (Notre Dame's LB) be worth pursuing in the draft?
I watched him play on Saturday. He a great combination of talent, high football IQ & heart. He looks like an incredible athlete who could be worth a look as Urlacher's eventual replacement. I realize we would probably have to trade up to get him. What do you guys think?
Skill-Set Summary: Te'o is a well-rounded linebacker. He does everything well and doesn't have any flaws in his game. Te'o is strong at the point of attack gainst the run. He has good instincts to get in position to make tackles and be around the ball. Te'o is a natural at reading his keys and quickly determines what the offense is setting up to do. His run defense is advanced, and at the next level, he should immediately be a good run-plugger.
In the college game, Te'o is a good pass defender. He splits time between blitzing and dropping into coverage. His ability to do both makes it harder on offenses and lets Te'o provide more mismatches. He functions well in space and can cover ground in zone coverage. As a pass rusher, Te'o has nice blitzing ability and closing speed. He has the speed and athleticism to to be a three-down linebacker in the NFL.
Te'o is an ideal NFL middle linebacker who can play in a 4-3 or a 3-4 defense in the NFL. He has bulk and strength to hold up on the inside of the 3-4 with the speed to play in the middle of a 4-3 defense. Te'o will enter the next level very experienced and should be able to start immediately.
LINK to the article Manti Te'o Emerges As Heisman Trophy Candidate Te'o has been the driving force behind the best Notre Dame defense in at least a decade, leading the Irish to their 4-0 start and their No. 9 ranking. He has played a role in seven of the 13 turnovers forced by the Irish, intercepting three passes, recovering two fumbles and hurrying the quarterback twice on passes that were intercepted.
Defensive coordinator Bob Diaco believes the 6-foot-2, 255-pound Te'o is the finest football player in college, saying he can power his way through blocks, but moves like a much smaller player.