Te’o isn’t an overly rangy guy.
However, he’s got a good feel in space, keeps his feet under him when looking to re-direct and sits low in his drop.
This allows him to play fast, cleanly get out of his breaks and create a noticeable burst when driving on the football.
Plus, when this guy attacks downhill he generates a ton of natural explosion, takes good angles and can really snap through the hips into contact, creating controlled collisions at the point.
To me he’s as NFL ready as any linebacker in all of college football and looks capable of starting from day one and maturing into one of the better inside backers in the NFL."
Whether it is his run defense, pass coverage, tackling or ability to read and react to offenses, he has the potential to make the play. Te'o plays downhill, showing a great burst in getting after the ball carrier.
His high football IQ will have him in the mix on nearly every play. The obvious comparison with him is to all-time great LB Junior Seau. If there is one particular skill set that will need to get better fast it is his pass coverage and ability to run sideline to sideline. He does not have great speed, which shouldn't hurt his draft stock too badly.
He is a clean tackler with great technique. He drives through the ball carrier regularly, stays low and looks to stay lower than his opponent.
Te'o had surgery two offseasons ago. It caused him to miss most of spring practice this year."
He has the skills to fit any system which means a lot of teams will be considering selecting him. His quickness makes him a logical fit for a cover 2 system as he is able to get down the deep middle in zone coverage. Te'o is an explosive tackler and makes plays from sideline to sideline. His short area burst gives him the ability to close on most ball careers.
In the passing game, Te'o is able to hold up in both zone and man coverage. His fluid helps allow him to stick with tight ends and running backs. The short area burst he possesses helps him click and close on the ball and make a play. While he is not an elite pass rush, Te'o can create pressure due to his savvy and timing.
Overall, Te'o represents a rare mix of speed, size, and smarts which will make him an attractive player come draft time. Any team looking to add a difference making middle linebacker has to at lease consider selecting Te'o.
Bold Statement: Manti Te'o will be selected in the top 15 of the 2012 NFL Draft
Games Viewed: Miami ('10), Utah ('10), Stanford ('10), USC ('10)
- Te'o is an excellent athlete with sideline to sideline speed
- He plays with good balance which helps him in both stopping the run and holding up in coverage
- His instincts and angle usage allow him to find and always be around the football
- Te'o's second gear permits him to quickly close on the football while in pursit
- He has excellent short area quickness that allows him to click and close in coverage
- Also while in coverage, he is able to easily identify the routes developing around him
- His fluid hips help him hold up in man to man coverage with tight ends and backs
- Te'o's speed and quick allows him to get deep down the middle when in zone coverage making him a good candidate for the MLB spot in a cover 2 scheme
- His overall skills and ability make him a 4 down player
- He is not a natural pass rusher but has good timing and savvy
- His timing and savvy combined with his burst make him a good blitzer
- Te'o could work on attacking the line more and using his hands to engage the blocker
- He has good lateral quickness but not elite which is why he needs to improve his attacking ability"
Has sideline-to-sideline range and does a nice job absorbing and shedding blocks, but isn’t always that instinctive; can also be caught out of position at times as he can be too aggressive and overruns plays; also not a natural blitzer and may never be a true every down LB as he has limited skills in coverage;
Had 133 tackles in 2010 including 9.5 for loss, but had just one sack and three pass breakups; character player, though, with all the intangibles to spearhead an NFL defense."