The Notre Dame product clocked a 4.82 time in the 40, which is enough for teams to drop him further down their draft boards. However, Te’o claims he usually runs a 4.5 or 4.6 in the 40. He told NFL Network’s Rich Eisen and Mike Mayock that he was not at his peak because the Combine process has exhausted him.
“I was running near 4.6, 4.5. Today was just a long, long, long day,” Te’o said when asked by Mayock to explain his 40 time. “That’s what I’m going to do — keep training and make sure that when my pro day comes, I’m running those numbers.”
Host Rich Eisen asked Te’o to rate his performance.
“I did OK,” Te’o answered. “I can obviously do a lot better. A lot better, and that’s what pro days are for.”
Te’o says he has been going to bed around 12 or 1 a.m. and getting up around 4 or 5 a.m. each day. The Combine has probably been more exhausting for him than some others because so many teams wanted to meet with him.
I’m willing to give Te’o a pass on his poor 40 time at the Combine for a few reasons. One, I don’t think 40 times for a linebacker are too important. Two, I think it’s possible he was exhausted by the process; he’ll have much better schedules in the NFL that should allow him time to rest, so it’s not like he’ll be playing games on four hours of sleep.
Te’o needs to run a stronger 40 time at his pro day to prove that he is a performer rather than an excuse maker. But between the slow 40 time, the hoax, the excuse, and getting bulldozed by Alabama in the National Championship Game, Te’o is giving people a lot of reasons to doubt him.
Helmet smack to Pro Football Talk
Photo credit: Brian Spurlock/USA Today Sports
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