When the news of the Manti Te'o fake-girlfriend thing broke, and with it only getting weirder and weirder, at this point the only thing that will surprise me is if it turns out his fake girlfriend was either Ricky Williams or Dennis Rodman in a wedding dress. But I digress, because I'm not sure exactly how much it'll impact his draft status. The fact he was duped like this (and allowed the hype to boost him) is a red flag, but the guy does have some talent on the field. And we know in the NFL, talent eventually rules the roost.
And in Te'o, you're dealing with a very decorated player who was mostly a non-factor in the NCAA title game against Alabama. That being said, he would have been a first-round pick after his junior season, and had a strong regular season, but it's been all bad since the title game.
As far as his on-field talent, Te'o covers ground and goes sideline to sideline really well. He knows his assignments and plays them well, though he tends to play loose with his angles attacking in space. His interceptions usually come off tips, but he gets himself in position to make those plays. He can make really good plays in the slop of the tackle box, but in space, he doesn't adjust well to shifty players and will overpursue the ball-carrier. And his upside is limited due to his limited athleticism.
Currently, CBS's Robert Rang has him going at 31 to the Ravens, and Dane Brugler has him gone at 20 to the Bears. WalterFootball has the Bears taking Ogletree instead with the Bengals picking up Te'o at 21.
Would you be willing to risk the 20th pick in the draft on Te'o?