Tom Coughlin believes Manti Te’o will be available for the Giants when they make the 19th pick of the NFL draft this April. But at the moment, it doesn’t look like the controversial Notre Dame linebacker is in the Giants’ immediate plans.

The Giants did not even interview Te’o at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis in February, Coughlin revealed on Wednesday during an appearance on The Crossover on NBC Sports Network. And though they still might – GM Jerry Reese had said the Giants plan to “bring him in” at some point – Coughlin indicated Te’o comes with other concerns.

One, Coughlin said, is Te’o’s poor performance in college football’s national championship game. Another is the slow 4.82 Te’o ran in the 40-yard dash at the combine.
Those factors are why Coughlin believes Te’o likely won’t be taken in the first 18 selections before the Giants are on the clock.

“Just strictly football, strictly evaluating -- I don’t really know the player other than looking at him on tape,” Coughlin said while promoting his new book, Earn The Right To Win. “We didn’t interview him in Indianapolis. But he didn’t play well in the national championship game.

“Now anybody can have a bad game. He ran OK (at the combine), but it wasn’t great. So I’ll have to do more research on him. But at this point in time you’re asking me would I be surprised (if he’s available at 19)? No.”