A sample of NFL general managers might not have been alarmed by Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o's 4.82 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, but Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh's immediate reaction was telling.
Harbaugh isn't alone in his disappointment. Asked by NFL.com's Kimberly Jones if anyone at the combine was impressed by Te'o's workout, one head coach replied, "How could you be?"
Another head coach expressed skepticism about Te'o's athleticism before the linebackers even worked out Monday. "I worry about Notre Dame guys," said the coach. "Are they as athletic as they need to be? How does he stack up (with other linebackers)?"
As SiriusXM NFL Radio's Ross Tucker pointed out, Te'o is going to have to show superior talent from day one in the NFL to shake the "catfishing" stigma in his next locker room.
"I don't want him," one veteran scout told Tucker. "Leadership is one of his big positives but he won't have that now because guys in the locker room are going to really be hard on him ... He'll be a target. He's going to have to play lights out for a while to gain that back."
All it takes for Te'o to go off the draft board in the first round is one team that believes he's capable of making an instant impact. He shouldn't get his hopes up. A third head coach told Jones, "He's just not the rare athlete. It's not worth it."Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.