Tom Coughlin said the Giants did not interview Manti Te'o at the NFL scouting combine and that he will have to do "more research" on the Notre Dame linebacker.
The head coach, who was promoting his new book "Earn The Right To Win: How Success in Any Field Starts with Superior Preparation" on NBC Sports Network, said he would not be surprised if Te'o is available when the Giants are on the clock with the 19th overall pick in April's draft.
“Just strictly football, strictly evaluating -- I don’t really know the player other than looking at him on tape,” Coughlin said on NBC Sports Network according to the New York Daily News. “We didn’t interview him in Indianapolis. But he didn’t play well in the National Championship game.
“Now anybody can have a bad game. He ran OK (at the scouting combine), but it wasn’t great. So I’ll have to do more research on him. But at this point in time you’re asking me would I be surprised (if he’s available at 19)? No.”
General manager Jerry Reese said he wanted to hear Te'o's version of the fake girlfriend hoax and that the Giants will "bring him in, and we’ll let him explain that situation for us" at last month's combine. Te'o then ran an unimpressive 4.82, 40-yard dash at the combine.
But the Giants have other pressing needs and could draft a defensive lineman, an offensive lineman or cornerback at 19. They haven't picked a linebacker in the first round since 1984 when the Giants selected Carl Banks.