If you took a look at Mel Kiper’s first mock draft today, you’d notice that next to the Buffalo Bills was Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o. Of course that was published before the breaking of the news today that Manti Te’o’s story regarding the death of his girlfriend was in fact fake. Now Te’o is more of a question mark in the draft, but even before this news I was quite wary of the Notre Dame star.
I was wary of Manti Te’o for the same reason that I was wary of Notre Dame, they just didn’t play anyone who was all that good. When he went up against a team like Alabama he just got steamrolled by the bigger players. As an NFL scout that would worry me, because the league is so much faster than college. Could Te’o really keep up?
Now you add this controversy, which is something I doubt the Bills are interested in getting involved in. Of late the team has tried to bring in players that they believed had strong character, and this doesn’t exactly fit the bill. We still don’t know if he actually did know about the hoax, but even so it doesn’t sound like attractive baggage. He has said in interviews that he has met her many times. Either he was a part of the scheme or he’s been lying to enhance the story.
So we are sitting here with a questionable linebacker with a questionable history. The Bills are trying to move forward, trying to start things off fresh. I don’t think this is how they’d like to start the Doug Marrone era. At the eighth pick there are so many other ways to go, other ways that won’t cause the controversy that taking Te’o would entice.