NFL Draft

Evaluating GM Tom Telesco’s Draft Trades


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2013: Manti Te’o

Telesco sent a fourth-round pick to the Cardinals to move up seven spots in the second round and choose Te’o, the Heisman Trophy finalist coming off a dominant senior season with the Fighting Irish (113 tackles, seven interceptions).

Te’o has been productive in his time with the Chargers, racking up more than 200 tackles, nine pass breakups and three takeaways. There are two main concerns at this point: 1) he misses too many tackles; and 2) he misses too many games (13 DNPs due to injury).

The future appears bright for the Chargers linebackers, with the instinctual Te’o looking like the ideal partner for the punishing Denzel Perryman. However, if Telesco had stayed put, he could have picked another inside linebacker (such as Kevin Minter or Kiko Alonso) and used his fourth-round pick on a safety like Shamarko Thomas or Phillip Thomas.

Final Verdict: Telesco made the right call. Te’o has played well and the fourth round of the 2013 draft produced far more duds than studs.

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About Michael Lombardo

Michael Lombardo has covered the San Diego Chargers since 2003. He spent 12 years covering the team for and has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports, Football Insiders and MySpace Sports.

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