Manti Te’o has drawn much criticism for his imaginary girlfriend and how he handled the entire situation. Many have claimed that Manti dropped on draft boards because of the controversy. But, maybe there’s another explanation: he was never as good as advertised.
I watched several videos of Manti Te’o before the Alabama game even occurred, and it became quite clear to me that Manti Te’o had several glaring deficiencies in his game.
1. He guesses way too much rather than reading plays and letting them dictate his actions. His eyes are in the backfield on nearly every play.
2. He tries too hard to make the big play. This gets him out of position quite a bit. It doesn’t always backfire, but when ball carriers recognize the cut back lane vacated by Te’o, it results in long runs.
3. He tends to struggle with taking on blockers. Ideally, you want your defenders to take on “half the man,” which means that they should be keeping one of their shoulders free so they can get off blocks and make a tackle. Te’o doesn’t do this very well.
4. His tackling form is less than ideal. He often lunges at ball carriers rather than keeping his head up and wrapping up like he is supposed to.