Before the 2013 BCS National Championship, Manti Te’o’s draft stock had him in the first round. Perhaps, that changed against Alabama.
Before the title game, Te’o had only missed two tackles, and recorded 101 total tackles, 1.5 sacks, and seven interceptions. Te’o was a Heisman finalist, and won the Nagurski, Butkus, and Lott trophies.
Against Alabama, the Crimson Tide exposed the Fighting Irish defense and Te’o. When Te’o didn’t allow two missed tackles all year, he had two missed tackles in the first quarter.
Alabama’s duo running back tandem of Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon ran all over the Irish defense and Te’O for 265 yards of total rushing yards.
Te’o wasn’t much of a factor at all, and most of the times when he burst past offensive lineman, he missed Lacy or Yeldon.
CBS Sports NFL draft analyst said of Te’o, “Te’o’s first-half performance, when he struggled to avoid being blocked and, more tellingly, missed several tackles on Lacy and Yeldon, should be troubling to pro scouts.
In the biggest of big games you have to play well,” Rang said at halftime. “The fact he’s not has got to be an area of concern for any NFL talent evaluator. You don’t get more NFL (offensive) talent than Alabama. You don’t get a bigger stage. … For of player with his hype to not be able to make tackles, it will hurt his draft stock.”
Te’o missed a big opportunity to impress NFL scouts against Alabama, especially considering Alabama is a team filled with NFL talent. Te’o will now have to make the most of opportunities at the Combine, along with his workouts for pro scouts.