Manti Te'o with Bears? Your thoughts

February, 7, 2013
2/07/13
4:00
PM ET
You knew this would come up, didn't you. When is the NFC North not in the middle of a national discussion of some issue or another?

Here is all we know at the moment:
  1. Te'o
    The Chicago Bears are probably in the market for a middle linebacker, one who might need to replace Brian Urlacher immediately if he does not re-sign with the team but certainly would be a starter within the next year or so.
  2. One of college football's most celebrated players last season was Notre Dame inside linebacker Manti Te'o, the runner up for the Heisman Trophy.
  3. Lingering questions about Te'o's role in a girlfriend hoax has generated speculation that he could be available with the Bears' No. 20 overall pick.
  4. ESPN analyst Todd McShay had Te'o going to the Bears in a mock draft released Thursday. (Mel Kiper Jr. had Te'o going No. 13 overall to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.)

McShay's choice generated significant response from Bears fans, many of whom probably followed Te'o closely during his college career. TheYodaSuperman left the following representative comment soon after the original post published:

"Manti Te'noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo"

A few of you would be concerned about the implications of the hoax story. In a best-case scenario, Te'o is awfully gullible. At worst, he is a con artist. But most of you questioned his aptitude as an elite linebacker at the professional level.

Tweeted @R_D_Three: "i want no parts based on BCS national championship vs the closest thing to NFL size and speed"

@patmaughan tweeted: "Te'o is vastly overrated. Unremarkable player pre-senior year, and simply doesn't project to difference maker on Sun." Added @chazelbert: "I think he is aj hawk light. Guy who will play for 5-7 years but never be an impact player."

Te'o figures to be one of the most polarizing NFL draft choices in some time. The girlfriend hoax has played out publicly and we still don't have a great grasp on what happened. And his performance against Alabama in the national championship game is certainly fair game for criticism, whether it was related to the pending hoax revelation or simply a physical mismatch.

From a blog perspective, it will be a fun ride. Which, of course, is all that matters.

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