The Ravens have performed their due diligence on Notre Dame middle linebacker Manti Te'o, one of the most scrutinized draft prospects.
And team officials say they're comfortable with Te'o from a character standpoint after talking with Te'o extensively. Te'o became a lightning rod nationally once the news broke that he had been duped into an Internet relationship with a fictitious woman.
"We’ve had a lot of conversations with him, that’s what we do," Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta said. "We talk to these guys as much as we can. We spent a lot of time with him. I personally have a great comfort level with him.
"I think he’s a quality kid. I think he’s very, very intelligent. I think he’s a heck of a football player and I think he’s going to make some team extremely happy.”
The Ravens have been linked to Te'o in several mock drafts for their first-round draft pick, the 32nd overall selection.
Despite an unimpressive NFL scouting combine performance in the 40-yard dash, many draft analysts don't believe Te'o will make it to the Ravens' first pick.
Te'o met with the Ravens at the combine.
Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said it's hard to classify what would be the so-called character question surrounding Te'o considering that he doesn't have any history of off-field problems or a criminal background.
“Well, we had that question in our first meeting, and what is the issue?" Newsome said to a reporter. "I am asking you."
When the reporter replied about the fake girlfriend hoax, Newsome responded.
"But is that beating women, is that using drugs, is it DUI?" Newsome said. "How do you clarify that? I couldn’t."
Ravens coach John Harbaugh reiterated that the Super Bowl champions have no issue with Te'o and are fine with him from a character or leadership standpoint.
"I think we’ve answered that," Harbaugh said. "Absolutely we do. We’re comfortable with him. We had a
great interview. You look at his body of work, what he has accomplished, who he is as a person, where he comes from. We feel good about Manti.”
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