The NFL Draft is hours away and many draft experts are beginning to speculate on the player that the Chicago Bears are zeroing in on with the their 20th overall selection in the first round.
According to a tweet for NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport, both the Bears and Minnesota Vikings have a strong interest in former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’0.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 25, 2013
The Bears have been heavily connected to Te’o over recent weeks. Many draft experts have the Bears selecting Te’o with the 20th overall selection. The Chicago Bears have a need for a linebacker. During the 2012 collegiate season, Te’o was arguably the best linebacker in the NCAA. The issue with Te’o and the problem that many fans have with the Bears selecting the former Notre Dame linebacker is because what happened to him off-the-field with the fake girlfriend story. There is no question that Te’o can probably be a productive linebacker in the NFL, however, the off-the-field atmosphere that would follow Te’o will likely have a greater impact than his on-the-field talent. That is why it would be in the Bears’ best interest pass on Te’0.
Nonetheless, it is interesting to hear of the Vikings’ interest. The Vikings, like the Bears, have a need for a linebacker. The Vikings hold the 23rd overall selection in the draft and may have to trade ahead of the Bears if they want to draft Te’o. It is possible that the Bears could be blowing smoke in terms of their interest in Te’o. The Bears are likely aware of the Vikings’ interest in Te’o. The Bears could be using that knowledge to their benefit by having the Vikings sacrifice some of their draft picks in order to jump ahead of them and draft Te’o. If that is the case, then the Bears *interest* in Te’o makes complete sense.