Notre Dame fighting Irish linebacker Manti Te'o has already earned a mountain of accolades during his senior season, and he's working hard with his teammates to write a storybook ending to the year in the BCS National Championship Game. But for anyone with an eye on 2013 NFL Draft, it's interesting to see where Te'o lands in prospect rankings.
The Notre Dame standout owns an impressive resume -- he won the Lott Trophy, Nagurski Trophy, Butkus Award, Lombardi Award, Bednarik Award, Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Player of the Year honors in 2012 alone -- but how does he rate for the NFL draft gurus at ESPN?
Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay both released updates to their NFL Draft prospect ranking Big Boards earlier this week, and Te'o is a top-10 player according to both analysts.
Kiper Jr. lists Te'o as his No. 2 overall prospect in the nation behind Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones, and praises the 6'2 senior for his "exceptional instincts" and "off-the-charts-intangibles." Meanwhile, McShay drops Te'o to No. 7 on his top-32 (one spot behind Jarvis Jones) but he still thinks Te'o is a "three-down linebacker" who can move well in space and can make plays on underneath coverage.
Could Te'o move past Jarvis Jones with a legendary performance in the biggest game of his college career? Will the combine mean more to scouts at this point? As always, the NFL Draft is a fascinating event to follow from January into April.