Manti Te’o, the controversial linebacker from Notre Dame, was not selected among the 32 picks today in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Te’o, a star linebacker at Notre Dame and a Heisman Trophy finalist, was projected to be selected in the first round, with teams such as the Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens reportedly showing interest.
He was ranked as the 17th-best player by NFL Draft expert and ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. entering today’s draft.
Many had Te’o as the top-rated linebacker, ahead of Alec Ogletree, who was selected by the St. Louis Rams with the 30th pick.
“I’m a little disappointed,” he told the NFL Network.
One of the teams that needed to fill the inside linebacker spot was the Vikings. But Minnesota, which entered the day with two first-round picks and acquired a third first-rounder, passed on Te’o all three times.
The Vikings instead selected defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (23rd), cornerback Xavier Rhodes (25th) and wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (29th).
Te’o is the most decorated college football player, winning seven of the major awards, such as the Maxwell, Walter Camp, Bednarik, Nagurski and Butkus awards.
However, an online hoax regarding the death of his girlfriend swallowed Te’o into a swirl of controversy and his popularity and reputation took a major hit.
The downward spiral continued when Te’o didn’t perform well during the NFL combine in February, running the 40-yard dash — the league’s basic measure for speed and quickness — in 4.82. But Te’o improved his mark to 4.71 during a Notre Dame pro day a month later.
Now, Te’o must wait a day for his name to be called as the draft continues Friday with the second and third rounds, starting at 12:30 p.m. Hawaii time.
The fourth and seventh rounds will close out the draft on Saturday.
The draft was heavy in offensive linemen. The Kansas City Chiefs, owner of the No. 1 overall pick, selected 6-foot-7, 306-pound Eric Fisher from Central Michigan. Jacksonville selected Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel second.
In all six of the first 11 picks were offensive linemen.
1, Kansas City — Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
2, Jacksonville — Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
3, Miami (trade with Oakland) — Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon
4, Philadelphia — Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
5, Detroit — Ezekiel Ansah, DE, Brigham Young
6, Cleveland — Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU
7, Arizona — Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina
8, St. Louis (trade with Buffalo) — Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
9, New York Jets — Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
10, Tennessee — Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
11, San Diego —D.J. Fluker, T, Alabama
12, Oakland (trade with Miami) — D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston
13, New York Jets — Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
14, Carolina — Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
15, New Orleans — Kenny Vacarro, S, Texas
16, Buffalo (trade with St. Louis) — E.J. Manuel, QB, Florida State
17, Pittsburgh —Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
18, San Francisco (trade with Dallas) — Eric Reid, S, LSU
19, New York Giants —Justin Pugh, G/T, Syracuse
20, Chicago — Kyle Long, G, Oregon
21, Cincinnati — Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
22, Atlanta (trade with St. Louis) — Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
23, Minnesota — Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
24, Indianapolis — Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
25, Minnesota —Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
26, Green Bay — Datone Jones, DT/DE, UCLA
27, Houston — DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
28, Denver — Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
29, Minnesota (trade with New England) — Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
30, St. Louis (trade with Atlanta) — Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia
31, Dallas (trade with San Francisco) — Travis Frederick, C, Wisconsin
32, Baltimore — Matt Elam, S, Florida