Stats & Info: manti te'o

Tyler Kaufman/Icon SMISam Montgomery (99) and Kevin Minter (46) joined Barkevious Mingo (49) as three of the six LSU players -- all on defense -- taken in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft.
Much like the past few college football seasons, the first three rounds of the NFL Draft were dominated by the SEC -- 32 of the 97 draftees have come from the SEC, the most from one conference in a single draft (the previous record was 25 from the ACC in 2006).

Last year there were 16 SEC players drafted in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft.

Cornerback Tyrann Mathieu was one of six LSU players drafted -- all from the defense -- the most defensive players ever drafted from one school the first three rounds in a single draft.

LSU’s six players drafted are just one fewer than the entire Big Ten Conference.

The rest of the Day 2 roundup:
• The Cincinnati Bengals chose North Carolina RB Giovani Bernard with the 37th pick. That’s the latest the first running back has been chosen in the Common Draft Era.

• Then Notre Dame LB Manti Te’o was selected 38th overall by the San Diego Chargers, the first Notre Dame linebacker to get picked in the first two rounds since Courtney Watson (to the New Orleans Saints) in 2004.

The last Fighting Irish linebacker to go as high as Te’o was Demetrius Dubose (34th to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) in 1993.

• With the next pick, the New York Jets chose West Virginia QB Geno Smith. The Jets had a 24.7 Total QBR last season, 2nd-lowest in the NFL (only the Arizona Cardinals were worse). Since drafting Mark Sanchez, the Jets have not finished a season ranked higher than 16th in Total QBR.

It’s the highest a West Virginia quarterback has ever been drafted.

A few things to note about Smith’s college experience:

1) He attempted more than 96 percent of his passes out of a shotgun or pistol formation in his career. Dana Holgorsen introduced Smith to the pistol in 2011, and he threw 42 touchdowns and four interceptions out of that formation.

2) He threw 177 of his 518 passes (34.2 percent) at or behind the line of scrimmage last season, including a BCS AQ-high 112 screen passes. As a result, Smith’s average pass traveled only 7.7 yards past the line of scrimmage, the fewest air yards per attempt of any top QB prospect.

• Boise State has had six defensive backs drafted in the past seven years -- they had six drafted in the previous 40 years combined.

Since Chris Petersen took over as head coach in 2006, the Broncos have had eighth players selected in the first two rounds. Before 2006, Boise State had just two players ever chosen in the draft’s first two rounds.

• If we need more evidence that this is a passing league, there have been 16 cornerbacks selected and 11 wide receivers, the most of any position, and there have been nine safeties taken, tied for fourth-most.

• The 55 defensive players drafted is the most ever through three rounds.

• The 25 defensive backs taken is the most ever through three rounds.

• The six running backs is tied for the fewest through three rounds.

Top stats to know: 2013 NFL Draft

April, 24, 2013

USA TODAY Sports, Getty ImagesLuke Joeckel (left) or Eric Fisher (right) could be drafted first overall.
The first selections of the NFL Draft are just a day away. Here are our Top 10 overall stats to know on this year’s selections.

A lineman is likely No. 1
Luke Joeckel is primed to become just the fourth offensive lineman drafted first overall since the AFL and NFL held their first common draft in 1967. Each of the first three, Ron Yary in 1968, Orlando Pace in 1997 and Jake Long in 2008, made at least four Pro Bowl trips and were named 1st-team All-Pro a combined 10 times.

49ers will be a prominent factor, but will their draftees be prominent factors?
The San Francisco 49ers enter the draft with a league-high 13 picks and could become just the second team to make 13 or more picks in a draft in the last eight years, joining the 2010 Eagles. But the odds of any 49ers rookie making a major impact in 2013 are slim. The 49ers won the NFC last year despite getting only 12 games (and no starts) from their 2012 draft picks, both NFL lows.

Minimal skill position talent in top 10
The top of the 2013 draft class is expected to be heavy on linemen, with some draft experts projecting West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith as the only quarterback, running back or wide receiver to go in the top 10. The fewest offensive skill position players picked in the top 10 in the common draft era is one, done four times with the last in 1997. That year, it was all offensive linemen and defensive players before the Giants drafted WR Ike Hilliard seventh.

An Irish defender in the top 20
Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o could become the first Notre Dame defensive player to go in the top 20 since defensive tackle Bryant Young was drafted seventh in 1994. From 1995-2012, 59 different schools have had more defensive players drafted in the top 20 than Notre Dame, including New Mexico, Tennessee State and Division II Kutztown (Pa.).

Top-10 trades are frequent
Is your favorite team picking at the back of the draft? Don’t wait to tune in, as the rookie salary scale has made top picks tradable again. In the two drafts with the rookie scale (2011-12), teams have made six trades involving top-10 selections, including five on the day of the draft. There were four trades of top-10 selections in the previous six drafts combined (2005-10).

Raiders have missed out on some good ones
The Oakland Raiders are slated to pick third overall after not having a first-round pick in 2011 and 2012. But Oakland hasn’t had much success in the first round in recent years, drafting the likes of Rolando McClain, JaMarcus Russell, Fabian Washington and Robert Gallery, none of whom are currently with the team.

However, the players drafted with the pick AFTER McClain, Russell, Washington and Gallery have combined for 14 Pro Bowl selections. That would be C.J. Spiller, Calvin Johnson, Aaron Rodgers and Larry Fitzgerald.

The Raiders tend to like them fast
The Raiders have taken the player with the best 40-yard dash time in three of the last four drafts. From 2009-11, the Raiders selected Darrius Heyward-Bey, Jacoby Ford and Demarcus Van Dyke, all of whom were fastest in their combine class. Of those three, only Ford is still a Raider. Last year’s fastest player (cornerback Josh Robinson) was taken by the Vikings 29 picks before Oakland’s first selection. This year’s fastest player was Texas wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, who ran a 4.27 40-yard dash at the combine.

NFC East teams could use help halting deep threats
All four NFC East teams were ranked in the bottom six in Total QBR on defending throws deeper than 15 yards downfield. Of the eight free agent secondary signings by NFC East teams so far, only Philadelphia’s Cary Williams (four) had more than two interceptions last year.

The NFC East has the NFL’s touchdown leader (Tony Romo, 14) and completion percentage leader (Robert Griffin III, 55.7 percent) on throws at least 15 yards downfield. Eli Manning also had 22 plays of at least 30 yards on those throws, tied for second most in the league.

The Cardinals have many needs
How bad was it in Arizona last season? Four different quarterbacks had at least 50 dropbacks for the Cardinals, the most of any team. The Cardinals were the only team in 2012 without a receiving touchdown by a tight end. The Cardinals’ offensive line allowed ball carriers to be hit in the backfield on a league-high 22.4 percent of rushes, and none of the four Arizona backs with at least 50 rushes gained more yards per rush after contact thanthe league average (1.6). The Cardinals added Carson Palmer and Rashard Mendenhall this offseason.

Broncos could use Manning protection
The Broncos ranked 25th in the league with a 3.8 yards per rush average last season. Peyton Manning was sacked every 29.7 dropbacks last season, best among qualified quarterbacks, but four of the seven Broncos linemen with at least 250 snaps have had surgery since October and another (center Dan Koppen) is an unrestricted free agent. Only guard Louis Vasquez has been added so far in free agency to a Broncos’ line that could seek reinforcements at the draft.

Bears need Urlacher replacement and more

April, 23, 2013
AP Photo/G. Newman LowranceNow that Brian Urlacher has left the building the Bears need to replace him.

After 13 seasons, 189 games and eight Pro Bowl selections, the Chicago Bears elected not to re-sign Brian Urlacher this offseason, leaving a big hole in the middle of the defense.

The Bears signed two linebackers in the offseason – D.J. Williams from Denver and James Anderson from Carolina – but both have primarily played on the outside and neither played more than half of their team’s defensive snap last season.

The Bears currently have five picks in the 2013 NFL Draft, tied for the fewest in the league. If they do try to replace Urlacher in the draft, should they do it in the first round (20th overall)?

Any replacement for Urlacher – selected ninth overall in 2000 – will need to be able to impact both the run game and passing game.

Over the last five seasons, the Bears have allowed 16 more touchdowns than interceptions with Urlacher off the field, compared to 12 more interceptions than touchdowns with him on the field. They have also allowed half a yard more per rush with Urlacher off the field.

Urlacher is also one of four players in NFL history with 40 sacks and 20 interceptions. Sacks became an official stat in 1982.

In Mel Kiper Jr.’s most recent mock draft, he has the Bears selecting Notre Dame ILB Manti Te'o 20th overall.

Te’o defended 11 passes last season. Only two other inside linebackers were rated 80 or higher according to Scouts Inc. (Alec Ogletree, Georgia and Kevin Minter, LSU), and they combined to defend 12 passes last season. Te’o’s seven interceptions last season were also most by a linebacker since 2006.

Todd McShay sees inside linebacker with the same level of concern for the Bears. In McShay’s most recent mock draft, he has the Bears selecting Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree.

The Bears do have other needs, however, and could delay selecting a linebacker.

The Bears did add Martellus Bennett in free agency, but tight end was a major weakness for Chicago last season.

No team finished with fewer receptions from the tight end position than the Bears in 2012. Bears tight ends also dropped 15 percent of their targets last season, the highest drop rate in the NFL and nearly triple the league average at the position (5.4 percent).

Protecting Jay Cutler may be even a bigger priority than giving him someone to throw to though.

Chicago signed left tackle Jermon Bushrod in free agency, but still has a hole at right tackle. The Bears have allowed a sack once every 11.9 dropbacks since the start of 2011, the second-worst rate in the NFL.

10 facts to know about the Heisman finalists

December, 8, 2012
US PresswireJohnny Manziel (left), Manti Te’o (center) and Collin Klein are the 2012 Heisman Trophy finalists.
• Johnny Manziel finished the regular season with 3,419 pass yards and 1,181 rush yards. His 4,600 yards of total offense broke the SEC single-season record held by Cam Newton during his 2010 Heisman Trophy season. When Newton broke the record, he supplanted Tim Tebow’s Heisman Trophy season in 2007.

• Manziel has been responsible for 43 touchdowns this season, tied with Tajh Boyd and Jordan Lynch for the most in FBS. He had six games with at least two touchdowns passing and rushing. That's tied with Tebow in 2007 for the most such games in a season since 2000. Collin Klein is tied for second in FBS this season with three such games.

• Manziel had 70 plays that gained 20 yards or more this season, 10 more than any other FBS player. He was tied for the eighth-most passes (52) and the second-most rushes (18) of 20-plus yards.

• Manziel gained 784 rush yards on scrambles, the most in the SEC. He had 13 scrambles that gained at least 20 yards, including seven touchdowns. No SEC player had more total rushes or touchdowns of 20-plus yards, let alone scrambles.

• Klein has scored a rushing touchdown in 11 straight games, the longest active streak in FBS. The only game that he did not have a rushing touchdown was against Missouri State, an FCS opponent. Since the start of last season, Klein has scored a rush TD in 23 straight games against FBS opponents. That is the longest such streak for any player in the last nine seasons.

• Since the start of last season, Klein has an FBS-best 37 rushing touchdowns in goal-to-go situations. Klein has had at least one such touchdown in 22 of 25 games during that time period, including in his last 10 games in which he has at least one such attempt.

• Klein has accounted for 69 percent of Kansas State’s yards and 66 percent of its offensive touchdowns this season. Klein’s percentages are slightly better than those of Robert Griffin III from his Heisman season at Baylor. Griffin accounted for 66 percent of Baylor’s total and 61 percent of its touchdowns.

• Manti Te'o has seven interceptions this season, tied for second-most in FBS and three more than any other linebacker. Te’o also has two fumble recoveries. His nine total takeaways are tied for the most in nation.

• Te’o has 103 tackles this season, 42 more than any other player on Notre Dame. He has just two missed tackles all season. As a team, the Irish have missed 61 tackles this season, the third-fewest among AQ schools.

• Notre Dame leads the nation in scoring defense (10.3 PPG) and is the only team that has not given up a touchdown drive longer than 75 yards this season. Every other FBS team has allowed at least three.

Notre Dame concedes very little on defense

November, 23, 2012
Matthew EmmonsWith one more win, Manti Te'o (right) and Notre Dame will play for the right to be No. 1.
(USC hosts Notre Dame on Saturday at 8 ET on ABC.)

If the Notre Dame Fighting Irish can win on the road against the USC Trojans. History could, again, repeat itself.

Four different head coaches have been responsible for Notre Dame's eight national championships in the AP poll era (since 1936). All four captured their first national title in their third season at Notre Dame, and head coach Brian Kelly is in his third season at the helm in South Bend.

Notre Dame is one win from playing for the BCS Title thanks in larger part to its defense. The Irish have conceded a touchdown on 6.7 percent of their opponents’ possessions, the lowest percentage in FBS this season.

Notre Dame’s red-zone defense also is the best in the nation, allowing a touchdown on 24.1 percent of their opponents’ drives inside the 20-yard line. (Opponents have seven touchdowns and five turnovers in 29 red-zone possessions.) That’s the lowest percentage for any FBS team in the last eight seasons.

The defense is led by senior linebacker Manti Te’o. With two more tackles, Te’o will join Bob Crable as the second Notre Dame player with three 100-tackle seasons. Te’o also leads the Irish with six interceptions after not having any in his first three seasons.

Notre Dame’s defense will be tested one more time, this time by one of the best wide receivers in the country. USC’s Marqise Lee has more receiving yards (821) in his last four games than 52 FBS teams during that time span. Lee has gained more yards after the catch (837) than any player from any BCS-AQ school, and leads FBS with eight 100-yard receiving games. However, only one player this season has 100 yards receiving against Notre Dame, Jalen Saunders from Oklahoma.

However, Lee will not have Matt Barkley throwing to him – the senior QB will not play because of a sprained shoulder. Since 2002, USC’s only loss to Notre Dame came in 2010 when Barkley (then a sophomore) had a sprained ankle and did not play.

Without Barkley, USC may turn to its running game. The Trojans are averaging 160 rushing yards per game, and has gained 10 yards or more on almost 17 percent of their rush attempts. Curtis McNeal has 324 yards in USC’s last two games, but he’ll face a Notre Dame defense that has allowed just three running backs to rush for 80 or more yards this season.