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Originally published March 11, 2010 at 9:24 PM | Page modified March 11, 2010 at 9:51 PM

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Daniel Te'o-Nesheim finds spotlight on Washington pro day

Alphabetical order placed Daniel Te'o-Nesheim after Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh in the workout schedule at the combine, which meant that the NFL Network was showing replays of Suh's performance in individual drills instead of capturing Te'o-Nesheim's performance.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Blame the alphabet.

It's the reason Daniel Te'o-Nesheim's performance at last month's NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis wound up being overlooked.

Alphabetical order placed Te'o-Nesheim after Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh in the workout schedule at the combine, which meant that the NFL Network was showing replays of Suh's performance in individual drills instead of capturing Te'o-Nesheim's performance.

"I knew it was going to happen as soon as I saw who was in front of me," Te'o-Nesheim said.

So here's a thumbnail sketch of what happened: Te'o-Nesheim performed 29 bench-press repetitions at 225 pounds, and he was timed as fast as 4.73 seconds in the 40-yard dash, though his official time was not among the top 10.

Well, he was timed running the 40-yard dash in 4.67 seconds at Washington's pro day on Wednesday, according to his agent. The scouts in attendance all had him in the 4.6s.

Where the 6-foot-4, 267-pound Te'o-Nesheim fits on an NFL roster remains a question. Those teams that run a 3-4 defense see him as an outside linebacker; those in a conventional 4-3 alignment see him as a defensive end.

What's becoming clear, though, is that he will fit somewhere in the NFL.

"The one thing I always want to say about him is amazing effort," Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian said. "I've never seen a guy work, practice, play the way he plays with the effort that he plays with. And it shows. That's why he's so productive. That's why he's the all-time sack leader in the history of this school."

In scouting terms, Te'o-Nesheim has great hips, which make him explosive when changing direction. NFL scouts use a three-cone drill to measure a player's agility and change of direction, and Te'o-Nesheim had the second-fastest time of any defensive lineman at the scouting combine.

Of course, not everyone got to see that. He was following Suh in that drill, after all, who cast quite a shadow in television coverage.

But Te'o-Nesheim has performed well enough to solidify himself as a player many now expect to be chosen in the draft along with linebacker Donald Butler, his Washington teammate, after the Huskies have not had a player drafted either of the past two years.

Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or doneil@seattletimes.com

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