The draft season kicks into full gear next week with the start of the NFL scouting combine, which runs Feb. 20 through 26.
The number one question this year will be how will teams evaluate Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o in light of his “relationship” issues. Teams probably won’t waste much of their 15 minutes in the interview situations trying to unravel his utterly bizarre personal life.
They’ll want to know if he can play football and figure that he can find him a “real” girlfriend during his spare time.
His draft status depends on how fast he can run. Not, who’s he dating or not dating.
“If he runs a great 40 (yard dash) time, he’ll be in that top 10 to 12 discussion,” ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said. “I have him going 13th to Tampa Bay. The 40 time is the most important thing.”
Te’o dropped some weight last season to improve his agility and ability to drop in pass coverage. He had seven interceptions for the Fighting Irish, but with the death of his imaginary girlfriend weighing on his mind, he played miserably in the BCS national championship game against Alabama.