Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 2/9/13
The biggest question leading into the NFL Draft surrounds the likely drop in stock of former Notre Dame linebacker, Manti Te'o. Entering the NCAA title game vs. Alabama, it was widely rumored he would be in the top five, if not the top pick overall. Today, mock drafts have him going anywhere from the top 10 to slipping into the 2nd round.The first portion of this debate should be his less than heroic performance during the title game vs. Alabama. It goes without saying it was a terrible outing, but it was bad enough to remove him from the top 5 talk, much less being considered a top pick. Following the game, mocks drafts had him dropping into the lower 1st round as the worst-case scenario. However, others still had him as a top 10 pick for the best case scenario.The second portion of this debate would be all the talk surrounding his "fake" girlfriend and all the negative publicity that created. Manti Te'o admits he misled people about having met the girlfriend who never existed, but says he was the victim of a cruel hoax, and denied any involvement in the creation of the online phantom. Yet, they 'met' on facebook, as the story goes, and concludes in Te'o having been duped. While innocent of this ordeal and hoax, the negative attention it gained him only seemed to sour his stock even more, with mid-to-late 1st round mocks as best case, and early 2nd round being the worst case.Now, I know that mocks are a crap shoot at best this far out, but the questions deserves a healthy debate...  just how far will these circumstances hurt his stock on draft day? How far will he fall?  Which team will take a "risk" on him early? Is it impossible to consider him falling out of the 1st round? Would a good combine help relieve his stock following the unfortunate circumstances?  Would a bad combine remove him from any 1st round consideration at all?You be the GM and the head coach, and pick where he gets selected, by who and why.
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