Vikings targeting Notre Dame's Manti Te'o in NFL Draft

Vikings want Te'o, may trade up to get him

4/25/13 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

It was just a few days ago that I thought Manti Te'o would be one of the most unpredictable players in the first round, but it seems that a probable landing spot is developing for the former Golden-domer. ESPN's John Clayton has reported that the Minnesota Vikings "would like to find a way" to select Te'o in tonight's draft.

Middle linebacker is an obvious position need for the Vikings, who are currently considering moving weak-side linebacker Erin Henderson to the middle (which would subsequently leave a hole on the outside). Using one of their two first-round picks on a middle linebacker should be a priority for the Vikings, and they are apparently locked in on one guy - Manti Te'o.
Blog Photo - Vikings targeting Notre Dame's Manti Te'o in NFL Draft
Te'o had an impressive track record at Notre Dame, building a reputation as an elite tackler, reliable playmaker, and unquestioned leader. He put the whole "fake girlfriend" saga behind him by addressing the media with honesty and maturity, as well as blowing away NFL execs in team interviews.

His draft hype has been quiet, and he's even dropped out of the first-round in a lot of mock drafts. However, it seems that the rock solid linebacker's stock is back on the rise, as the Vikings are eyeing him up and believe they may have to trade up to acquire him.

The biggest threat to the Vikings' acquisition of Te'o is the Chicago Bears, who could use a middle linebacker themselves and are reportedly very high on Te'o. They draft 20th overall - three picks before the Vikings - and could very well target a middle linebacker with that pick. The Vikings could roll the dice on Te'o falling to them at 23, which is a realistic possibility, or they could make a trade to jump the division rival Bears.

A few teams that could potentially trade down to allow the Vikings to move up and get Te'o include the Steelers (17th), Cowboys (18th), and Giants (19th). This, of course, depends on who is available to these teams when they're on the clock. For example, I don't believe the Steelers will trade down if Jarvis Jones is available, and I don't think the Cowboys will trade down if they have a shot at drafting Kenny Vaccaro. The Giants don't have any glaring, specific needs, but they could definitely use a middle linebacker, which makes them a sketchy trade partner.

A few months ago, Manti Te'o had one of the more uncertain futures in this draft. Now it seems as if his future could very well be in Minnesota playing for the Vikings.
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