Te'o's Run of Woe Now Includes a Slow 40

Te'o's Run of Woe Now Includes a Slow 40

The biggest issue with Manti Te'o's draft stock wasn't the catfishing hoax that made him a laughingstock. That obviously wasn't a positive, and there were questions NFL teams surely had to ask about it, but the NFL has happily drafted players who have done a lot worse things off the field.

It always comes down to this for NFL teams: Can you play? And based on what Te'o did against Alabama in the BCS Championship Game, that became a serious question. Against the best offensive line he had faced, the best comparison any NFL team could have to a line that looks like one it sees on Sundays, he disappeared. That was the biggest red flag. Scouts weren't breaking down Katie Couric's interview with Te'o; they were watching why he couldn't tackle Eddie Lacy.

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Te'o's combine press conference got a lot of attention, but on Monday after most of the media had left Indianapolis, a far more damaging blow for Te'o happened when he was surprisingly slow in the 40-yard dash. He clocked unofficial times of 4.81 and 4.80 in the 40. There are 12 defensive linemen listed by NFL.com that ran at least a 4.81 in the 40. LSU defensive end Sam Montgomery, a 262-pound defensive end, ran a 4.81. Two 300-pound offensive linemen ran a shade better than 4.7 at the combine. Te'o was far from being fast, FARRRRRR from it.

The question now isn't if the bad 40 time hurts Te'o's draft stock, it's how much it does.

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