Manti Te’o Scouting Report

Manti Te'o Notre Dame

QB / RB / WR / TE / OT / OG / OC / DT / DE / OLB / ILB / CB / SAF

Prospect: Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 250
Grade: 7.3X (Grading Scale)

Scouting Report:

+ Thick, powerful build, upper-body/lower-body strength is NFL caliber right now – Looks the part
+ Has the strength to simply over-power blockers in head on situations
+ Upper-body strength is evident by his powerful use of hands to shed blocks
+ Has no problem getting pad leverage and has good hip bend when taking on blocks
+ Ideal size for NFL ILB in any type of defense, has the frame to hold up in all phases
+ Gets up to speed quickly when coming forward towards the line, can explode into a tackle
+ Lost 10-15 lbs. this season which has helped with his mobility and lateral agility
+ Moves well for his size, won’t time off the charts but plays fast
+ Has improved in space with his change of direction and ability to drop
– Straight line speed has been questioned – 4.65?
– Not the most fluid lower body, looks stiff at times trying to turn and run with receivers

+ Exhibits very good instincts, has improved recognition each season
+ Pass instincts have really developed in his senior year
+ Stays disciplined with his gap responsibility and reads directional runs quickly
+ Heart and soul of ND defense, team feeds off his passion and intensity
+ Extremely hard-worker, came back for Senior year and has improved vastly
+ Team Captain material at NFL level
+ Never takes plays off, will flow to the ball on each play and not stop until plays over
+ Displays extreme passion for the game, clear that football is important to him
+ Heisman finalist, finished 2nd in Heisman voting, extremely rare feat
– Developing story about “made-up girlfriend” is concerning

+ Every down LB, not a liability in coverage and doesn’t have to come off the field on passing downs
+ Has good range for his size, shows ability to move well in the middle of the field
+ Ball skills and zone instincts greatly improved as a Senior
+ Can close quickly when he sees it, has a nose for the ball and big play ability
+ 7 INTs as a Senior to go with 11 PBU, after zero his first three years
+ Can re-route and jam TE off the line of scrimmage and can run with them in straight line
+ Recognizes screens very well and gets to ball carrier quickly
+ Has improved drop quickness, loss of weight has improved his range and fluidity in coverage
– Struggles at times keeping up after a sharp breaking route
– His lack of speed may be exploited vs. quicker RB who can get into the flat
– May struggle in zone coverage vs. crossing routes when he has to switch and run laterally

vs. the Run
+ Makes plays all over the field and is a terror inside the tackle box
+ Has the ability to stack and shed very well, takes on lead blocks with leverage and power
+ Maintains outside leverage when setting the edge, stays square to the line and takes good angles
+ Powerful in his run fits, loves to come downhill and really attacks his gaps
+ Has become much more disciplined with his gap assignments as years go on, guesses much less
+ Powerful and technical tackler, wraps up drives legs and rarely misses a tackle
+ Uses his hands well to disengage and make plays, doesn’t stay blocked long
– Still overruns plays at times, gets too aggressive and susceptible to cut backs
– Relies on his instincts to make plays, straight line speed could hurt him at next level

+ Has all the physical tools necessary to become a good blitzer in the NFL
+ Timing and instincts are very good, has the ability to time the snap and exploit mismatches
+ When he gets there he has the ability to finish the sack with very good tackling ability
– Sack numbers are very pedestrian and hasn’t been used as a blitzer much


Plain and simple Manti Te’o is a football player. He has the instincts, strength and play-making ability to be a cornerstone defender for a defense for years to come. His work ethic and passion for the game sets him apart from others. Ideal fit at an ILB position in either a 4-3 or 3-4, but is the type of player every NFL team will have to look at because he will just make plays.

Te’o might become over-scrutinized and knocked for his lack of straight line speed, but when you turn on the film you see how many plays this kid makes.

Scouting Notes

Notre Dame vs Oklahoma
– Able to stay in hip pocket of slot WR running cross patterns in middle of the field
– Disciplined in his run fits, forces RB inside and doesn’t bite of the juke, makes tackle at LOS
– Stays in his cut back lanes, and waits for RB to cut back, makes perfect form tackle on bigger back

Full scouting notes for Te’o vs Oklahoma

Notre Dame vs Stanford
– Runs through his tackles, one of the most powerful tacklers in country
– Nice job in pass coverage in RZ, doesn’t take playfake, runs with Toilolo easily forces a different throw
– Moves laterally at the LOS well, keeps outside leverage and makes tackle at the sticks – Sideline to Sideline force

Full scouting notes for Te’o for Stanford

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