Manti Te'o, Detroit Lions huddle for pre-NFL draft visit


Plenty of draft experts peg Manti Te'o as a logical fit for the Chicago Bears or Minnesota Vikings, but the Notre Dame linebacker is spending time with another member of NFC North.

Te'o met with the Detroit Lions on Tuesday, the team announced.

Let's not read too much into a player visit, but like their division foes, the Lions have a need at linebacker.

Stephen Tulloch gives the Lions a veteran in the middle, but with Justin Durant signing with the Dallas Cowboys, the Lions can use help on the strongside, where the unproven Ashlee Palmer currently is penciled in as the starter. Te'o conceivably could be used in the SAM position in Detroit's 4-3 scheme.

The Lions aren't about to consider Te'o at No. 5, and it's unlikely he'll be around for their 65th pick, even after his draft stock suffered following the catfishing debacle and his rough outing against Alabama in the BCS Championship Game.

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"It's a little frustrating people judge you on one game," Te'o told the Lions' official site, "but I don't feel it defines my career at Notre Dame."

Fair point, but an actual football game can't come soon enough for Te'o. Few prospects have endured more public speculation leading up to the draft, but Te'o is hoping one team -- perhaps the Lions -- will help him bury the past for what's ahead.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.