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Associated Press

Te'o: Falling stock?

Only one thing I know about combines: They do a nice job of harvesting crops.

Other than that ... well, suffice it to say the NFL combine reveals far more about the inner psychosis of organizations terrified of making a mistake in a high-stakes industry than it does about the players they're evaluating.

Case in point: Manti Te'o.

Everyone but him, judging from the questions he got at his news conference over the weekend, has moved past the strange fake-girlfriend episode that hoodwinked Te'o. There was much speculation as to how it would affect his draft status, even though A) even the smartest people get scammed all the time here in the internet age, and B) his gullibility in this episode has absolutely zero bearing on his football IQ.

Which, by the way, remains high. All you need is game tape and a working set of eyeballs to know that.

Of course, now that he's run a pedestrian 4.8 40 and fared little better in the other combine drills, there are other questions. And I'm starting to get the odd feeling that this is one of those situations where a lot of NFL general managers are going to over-think the situation, and Te'o's going to wind up with, oh, I don't know, the New England Patriots, say.

Where, put in the right situations, he'll end up having a solid career with perhaps a couple of Pro Bowl appearances thrown in. And everyone will wonder, "How did we miss on this guy?"

Ben Smith's blog.

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