Excerpt: "The Manti Te’o image rehabilitation project appears to be working.
The controversial Notre Dame linebacker’s stock, which dropped like a stone in the wake of his bizarre “dead fake girlfriend” tale and a woeful performance in the BCS title game, is back on the rise.And at just the right time, too — four days before Thursday’s first round at Radio City Music Hall.
Te’o wisely declined an invitation to attend the draft in person, accurately predicting it would be a circus, but scouts say he has done much in visits with individual teams to ease major concerns about his psyche and terrible on-field showings against Alabama and at the scouting combine.Much of the talk that Te’o could slip to the second or even third round appears to have dissipated, and the Giants — badly in need of a middle linebacker to help shore up their run defense — wouldn’t surprise many league insiders if they take him with the 19th overall pick.Scouts say Te’o has been able to repair his image largely by coming across so well in team interviews and visits with individual clubs.Several of those teams have been very impressed with Te’o’s humbleness, his willingness to answer their exhaustive list of questions about the girlfriend episode and his football smarts. Te’o also redeemed his poor combine performance with a much improved display at his pro day." Read more...