Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 3/4/13
It appears the Bengals have serious interest in Manti Te’o. Peter King of Sports Illustrated has now mentioned twice that the former Notre Dame linebacker is not expected to last past the Bengals’ No. 21 overall pick in the NFL draft. There were some doubts that Te’o was still a first-rounder after running  a 4.82 40-yard dash at the combine. No one’s “draft stock” has changed more in the past few months. There was buzz for Te’o to go No. 1 overall to the Chiefs (as ridiculous as that was) midway through the college season. Te’o's poor performance against Alabama, his fake girlfriend hoax and his poor time in the 40 had some analysts saying Te’o would come off the board in the second round. King also mentioned in his piece on Monday morning that scouts expect Te’o to be a two-down player. The former Golden Domer would only play on first and second down since he struggles in pass coverage. If Te’o gets drafted by the Bengals, it would likely be to take over for free agent Rey Maualuga at middle linebacker. The knock on Maualuga is that he struggles in pass coverage.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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