Ireland: No Rhyme Or Reason To Official Team Visits

Posted Apr 11, 2013

Hosting a player doesn’t substantiate draft interest.

There was a lot of attention paid to Manti Te’o’s quick trip to South Florida yesterday to meet with the Miami Dolphins, as he counts towards the 30 visits each NFL team is allowed.

But Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland was quick to explain what goes into the decision to schedule those visits and how they generally do not tip a team’s hand on the direction they’re going in the draft.

“I think everybody does it differently and I’m one of those everybodys,” Ireland said. “I don’t have a strict philosophy about how I do it. Sometimes I got a guy that I need a little bit more medical information on, some guys I didn’t get a chance to visit with him at the Combine or I did visit with him at the Combine and didn’t get the information that I wanted. There’s no rhyme or reason. Some guys I have a lot of interest in and some guys I don’t have much interest in at all, but there’s no rhyme or reason.”

Te’o, the star linebacker from Notre Dame who found himself embroiled in a bigger off-the-field story involving a girlfriend that did not exist, was the runner-up to Johnny Manziel for the Heisman Trophy. His performance against Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game didn’t help his stock, as he was handled pretty well by the Crimson Tide’s physical offensive linemen.

But Te’o is still considered one of the higher rated inside linebackers in this class, so Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland wanted to do his due diligence with two weeks left before the draft.

“I think Manti’s a good football player and we had 15 minutes with him at the Combine,” said Ireland, who did not get to meet with or see Te’o at the Senior Bowl because Te’o skipped the game. “I think he’s a good football player that’s going to be drafted and in that particular case I wanted to spend some time with him and kind of get to know a little bit more about the whole process he’s been through and how he’s handled it and how he’s moving forward.”

Te’o’s visit went through last night and part of today.

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