The San Diego Chargers used their second and third round picks in the 2013 NFL Draft to select Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o and University of California wide receiver Keenan Allen, respectively.
The Chargers selected Te’o, a finalist for the 2012 Heisman Trophy Award, with the sixth pick in the second round (No. 38 overall). The Chargers brokered a trade with the Arizona Cardinals, swapping selections in the second round and also sending their fourth-round pick (No. 110) in this year’s draft to the Cardinals.
“He’s a great kid, we did a lot of work on Te’o and I’ve seen him for a number of years,” said Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco. “He loves football. He’s passionate about it. He loves to practice. He loves to play. He’s a lot like (first-round pick) D.J. (Fluker) in that regard. He’ll bring that to us.”
“It’s a perfect scenario being right here next to home,” said Te’o. “My parents can come watch. I can go home. It’s San Diego. We’re all excited. I can’t be any happier. I’m just looking forward to get up there and getting this whole thing started.”
The 6-1, 241-pound Te’o finished second to Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel in voting for the 2012 Heisman Trophy after leading the Irish to an undefeated regular season and a date with Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game. Te’o captured a host of national awards, including the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, the Maxwell Award, the Lombardi Trophy, the Bednarik Award, the Nagurski Award, the Butkus Award and the Lott Trophy after leading Notre Dame with 113 tackles and seven interceptions from his inside linebacker position. He was also a consensus All-America both on the football field and inside the classroom.
A native of Laie, Hawaii on the island of Oahu, Te’o burst onto the national scene in 2010 when he led the Irish with 133 tackles as a sophomore. Postseason awards began to pour in a year later after a 128-tackle junior season that included a career-high five sacks. Teo’s seven interceptions this past season were a Notre Dame record for linebackers and they were the most by a linebacker in the NCAA since 2000.
Te’o’s final career numbers at Notre Dame include 49 starts in 51 games, 427 total tackles (third in school history), 34 tackles for loss (11th in school history), 8.5 sacks, seven interceptions, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
In the third round, the Chargers selected California-Berkeley wide receiver/punt returner Keenan Allen with the 76th overall pick in this year’s draft. At 6-2, 211 pounds, Allen left school after his junior season having caught a school record 205 passes for the Golden Bears, while racking up 2,570 yards (third in school history) and 17 touchdowns (seventh). His ledger included a career-high 98 catches for 1,343 yards as a sophomore in 2011, which earned him third-team All-America and first-team All-Pac-12 honors.
A native of Greensboro, North Carolina, Allen’s half-brother, Zach Maynard was his quarterback all three years at Cal. In 2011, Maynard and Allen combined for the longest pass play in school history when they hooked up on a 90-yard score against the Washington Huskies.
In addition to his pass-catching totals, Allen averaged 12.0 yards per return as a punt returner and 22.6 yards on kickoffs and he left the Berkeley campus with 3,458 all-purpose yards in just three seasons.
Below is a recap of the Chargers’ first three selections in the 2013 NFL Draft
Round No. Player
1 11 D.J. Fluker
2 38 Manti Te’o Inside Linebacker Notre Dame3 76 Keenan Allen Wide Receiver