Leading up to this month's draft, Purple Jesus Diaries will take time analyzing potential draft targets for the Minnesota Vikings. With our cutting edge video technology, long hours spent scouting literally DOZENS of college players from our couch, and insight from Vikings meathead CapitalJsCorner, we're give you details you never even dreamed of from prospects that could help the Vikings in 2013. Based on the team needs established in our offensive and defensive team reviews, we present to you the 2013 Who Ya Gonna Draft? feature ...
Manti Te'o. Ohgodwe'regonnadrafthimwe'regonnadrafthimwe'regonnadrafthimwe'regonnadrafthimwe'regonnadrafthim
Capital Js Take:
Before the hoax, Manti Te'o was projected to be a top 5 pick. His 4.8 40 time didn’t help, but he is still a top MLB prospect in the draft and the Vikings would probably be ecstatic if he was sitting there at 23 or 25. Supposedly not great in coverage, but did have 7 INT’s last year.
Oh god, this is awful. OK. Let's settle down. OK. Uh, well, he's a linebacker that got catfished by a bro who had romantic feelings for him and then Te'o sold this story about a girl he never met dying in a car accident and WHAT THE HELL MAN. I wonder, when NFL.com talks about the good and the bad about Te'o, will they mention any of this? Let's find out! The "good" stuff:
Aggressive middle linebacker with a thick overall build. Vocal leader on the off the field, communicates the call and moves teammates into place when necessary. Downhill player who recognizes plays and closes quickly. Provides pop as a tackler, capable of thumping the ballcarrier and wrapping up to secure the stop. Aware run-stopper between the tackles, finds the ball and can mirror backs to prevent cutbacks. Stops backs’ momentum on first contact and drive them backwards. Takes on linemen and fullbacks, can bounce or use his hands to rip off and make a stop. Hustles to recover from cut blocks, work through double teams at the second level. Shows enough movement skills to follow stretch plays to either sideline and cover running backs in the flat. Drops to the first-down marker, but is able to close on receivers and backs over the middle to prevent yards after the catch. Attacks gaps as a delayed blitzer, will try to work past the shoulder of linemen picking him up. High character player who performs community service and became an Eagle Scout in 2008.
OK. Wouldn't expect it there. This whole incident wasn't particularly "good" so I would suppose it would be in the "bad" section if it were at all, right? Let's see:
Only average height for the position. Linemen and bigger tight ends have a size and length advantage, can ride him out of plays. Backpedal is high and stiff on his drops. Must prove he has the short-area quickness and long speed to stay with tight ends and receivers in coverage. Takes false steps on play action and misdirection; has only adequate recovery speed. Blunt instrument as a tackler, slips off some tackles when trying to make a big hit. Comes into ballcarriers with his head down at times, allowing them to elude him.
........ Soooo .... No one is going to talk about this? Huh. OK.
Alright. Despite the fact that Te'o got involved in some REAL WEIRD ****, MAN, I also just don't think he's that good of a football player. And that is what scares me about the Vikings possibly drafting him.
Frankly, I think the Vikings have been lacking in the "character" department for the past year or two. We don't really have any STARS on the team that are weird or other teams hate. Peterson? Everyone loves him. Jared Allen? Can't talk about him because of his PR team. Who's left? Kyle Rudolph is like a super nice dude, John Sullivan is a manly man, we traded Percy Harvin, and Chris Kluwe is a punter. Where's our Ray Lewis and his murder sub plot, Clay Matthews and his steroid abuse, Jay Cutler and his collection of Tumblr pages? I WANT OUR HATEABLE PLAYER, DAMMIT! Te'o could be that dick nose.
And he just might be. God dammit, I just have never seen the drafting of a player to a team as telegraphed as this. You just KNOW the Vikings are going to draft him, don't you? Bringing him in for personal interviews, talking with him at the combine, not signing a free agent middle linebacker during free agency ... I mean, come on. You may as well just deliver your draft card to the commissioner right now. This sucks. Manti Te'o WILL BE a Minnesota Vikings, I promise you that.
And that kind of sucks, because he'll be slow as **** playing middle linebacker in a Cover-2 defense that requires him to run backwards pretty much every play, fast, and cover tight ends and quick little midget running backs all the time. So we want a slow, lead footed, weirdo tasked with that job. COOL. SOUNDS LIKE A GREAT DRAFT PICK. Did you see him get destroyed by Alabama in the championship game? Yeah, that's a little bit different of talent level than playing against Navy and BYU every year. Good lord. I can't believe we're even having this conversation.
But here we are, and I'm resigned to the fact that Te'o is going to be in purple. Just accept it, people. It's going to happen. And while it means the TALENT level of our team is going to drop precipitously, on the other hand, the DRAMA level of our team is going to sky rocket! And I, for one, can't wait to write about it. Soooo ... LET'S DRAFT TE'O!!!
Idiots. We deserve it.