Of the many questions raised by the bizarre Manti Te’o dead-girlfriend-tale-now-claimed-hoax, one centers on how the incident will impact the Notre Dame linebackerâ€™s draft stock.
The Heisman Trophy finalist has been considered a top-10 draft prospect, but will that change now?
Former Redskins and Texans general manager Charley Casserly and NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock both say that for now, itâ€™s too early to tell how this unique situation will affect Teâ€™oâ€™s future.
Both also agree that NFL teams will do as much as they can to investigate the matter leading up to the draft, which is still three months away. Teams will get a chance to interview Teâ€™o at the NFL combine late next month, and during pre-draft visits.
â€śUntil you get him in the room and question him, itâ€™s just one more thing to ask about right now,â€ť Casserly said in a phone interview. â€śTeams will put everything in writing, gathering everything they can thatâ€™s on the Internet, investigate it on their own, and really, itâ€™s the same thing as a lawyer gathering information, the way you walk through it. And you want to know the answers to as many questions as possible before you ask him.â€ť
Mayock, who also calls Notre Dameâ€™s games for NBC, wasnâ€™t available for individual interview, but discussed the Teâ€™o incident on the NFL Networkâ€™s “Around the League” on Thursday evening.
Teâ€™o hasnâ€™t spoken publicly about the story, but in a statement claims that he was the victim of a â€ścruel hoax.â€ť Plenty of questions remain, however, about the validity of that claim. But Casserly expects the truth to come out before the draft.
â€śIf itâ€™s as simply as he says, that he was duped into it, and it canâ€™t be disproved, then you move on from it,â€ť he said. â€śIt doesnâ€™t pass the rule of common sense right now, but the truth will be out before the draft. You canâ€™t get too caught up in the moment right now. For now, itâ€™s just another thing to question him on. Teams will get him in the room, interview him on it, and then move on from there.â€ť