A sleeper who got a little bit of love around the site and was identified as one of two bigtime sleepers outside the first round by Football Outsiders research into what measurables make for a successful NFL edge rusher.
Te'o-Nesheim isn't highly regarded since most consider him purely a 4-3 situational rusher due to his undersized frame (6'3" 263lbs) and a perceived lacking of the athleticism to convert to OLB in a 3-4. Still Te'o-Nesheim was a phenomenally productive end, registering 27.5 sacks and 40.5 TFLs the last 3 years, similar numbers to the fantastically productive 1st round end Brandon Graham.
Te'o-Nesheim has great college production and enough athletic ability to make it into the league, but it's generally thought that he's pushing the limits of his potential already. A college overachiever who won't be able to get by with hustle and intelligence when facing players that are significantly more athletic than him. Still the combine measurables that Football Outsider's found relate well to edge rushing success were those that Te'o-Nesheim performed well in, so the reputation for limited and topped out athleticism may be unwarranted.
Te'o-Nesheim is a high-motor player with a lot of experience. He has good technique and plays through the whistle. The problem is that he's not quite big enough to play every down at end.
Varies his speed off the edge. Is able to gain the edge more often than you'd expect for only having marginal overall burst and acceleration. Quick, active hands and a good pass-rush repertoire, including a swim, rip and developing club move. Good overall strength for the bull rush. Cerebral pass rusher that recognizes the screen and will drop off to locate the receiver. Reads the quarterback's eyes and times his leaps in an effort to knock down passes at the line of scrimmage.
Better strength than his size would indicate to hold up at the point of attack. Good lateral agility slip wide and the discipline to keep contain. Funnels the action back inside to his teammates. Good hustle laterally and downfield.
A tough competitor who was a four-year starter in the Pac-10. Gets hands inside blockers' pads and sheds effectively to get after the passer. Prepares well and tracks the ball in traffic. Relentless effort allows him to get the most of his abilities.
Does not have the size to play defensive end at the next level and lacks the athleticism to play outside linebacker. Slow getting off the ball and does not have the lateral agility to get around the edge. Gets pushed around in the running game and does not have the speed to make plays from the backside.
Te'o-Nesheim brings tremendous motor (3 time U of Washington D-lineman of the year, 2 time Team Defensive MVP and was Scout Team Defender of the year his redshirt season) and showed he has the technical skills to be a productive sacker without all-world athleticism, the question is how athletically outmatched will he be on the Pro-level and how outmatched he can stand to be. Te'o-Nesheim is projected usually in the 4th round or later, but there's rumbling that he's getting some 3rd round grades as well. I wouldn't be shocked to see him taken in the late 3rd and would be shouting for him if he's there at Indy's 4th round pick.