Not one NFL team showed interest in former Notre Dame star Manti Te'o in the 1st round of Thursday's 2013 NFL draft.
NFL scouts weary of Te'o's distracting presence in the NFL locker room declined to draft the former Heisman candidate who had a terrible showing in the NFL Combines in February.
If you recall, Te’o made headlines for mourning a dead girlfriend who didn't exist.
A male friend later stepped forward to say he pretended to be Te'o's dead girlfriend for 3 years because he was in love with him. This led to rampant speculation that Te'o himself was gay.
West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith also wasn't chosen in the 1st round -- probably for the same reason that Te'o was passed over.
Smith, who threw for 42 touchdowns last season, was expected to be the #1 pick in the 2013 NFL draft Thursday.
After declining to sit for an interview with ESPN, a dejected Smith said he was going home and did not plan to return for round 2 of the draft. But he had a change of heart and did attend round 2 of the draft today.
Te'o's bizarre story prompted NFL scouts to question the sexuality of every college player at the Combines in Florida.
Gay rights advocates cried foul, and on Wednesday the NFL agreed to strengthen its policies against discrimination based on sexual orientation.
"The NFL has a long history of valuing diversity and inclusion," said commissioner Roger Goodell in a statement. "Discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation is not consistent with our values and is unacceptable in the National Football League."
The updated policy against discrimination doesn't mean NFL teams are ready to accept suspect players like Te'o or Smith, as evidenced by the fact that they were both passed over in the 1st round of the draft.
In a radio interview in February, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio said “NFL teams aren’t buying Manti Te’o’s declaration that he’s not gay.”
“Teams want to know whether Manti Te’o is gay," Florio said. "They just want to know. They want to know because in an NFL locker room, it’s a different world. It shouldn’t be that way.”
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