Chargers trade up to get Te'o; Jets pick Geno Smith


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Updated: 4/26/2013 9:59 pm Published: 4/26/2013 6:33 pm


New York, NY (Sports Network) - The San Diego Chargers traded up in the second round of the NFL Draft to select Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o 38th overall Friday night.

The Chargers traded with Arizona for the sixth pick of the second round to get Te'o, who was this past year's Heisman Trophy runner-up to Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. Te'o was the winner of several major national honors in 2012, including the Butkus Award, Lombardi Award, Chuck Bednarik Award, Nagurski Award, Walter Camp Award, and Maxwell Award.

Te'o finished his college career with 437 total tackles and 8 1/2 sacks, but was at the center of a crazy hoax involving a relationship he had with someone he considered to be his girlfriend. It turned out that the girl didn't exist.

"Manti Te'o is a once-in-a-generation type kid," Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said. "I've not been associated with a better player, leader and man in my tenure as a college football coach. He possesses all the instincts and talents necessary to be a top-flight NFL linebacker and the San Diego Chargers are fortunate to add his services."

The Chargers moved up seven spots to get Te'o and also gave the Cardinals a fourth-round selection (110th overall).

"It's a perfect scenario being right here next to home," said Te'o, who is from Hawaii. "We're all excited. I can't be any happier."

Te'o said he expected to go in the first round, "but things happen and it gives me motivation to get better."

San Diego had a need for inside linebackers coming into the draft. Takeo Spikes was released and Demorrio Williams is a free agent.

At pick No. 39, the New York Jets selected West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith.

Considered one of the most athletic quarterbacks available in the draft, Smith finished his college career with 12,004 yards of total offense, 98 passing touchdowns and just 21 interceptions in 44 games played with the Mountaineers.

The selection of Smith gives the Jets a logjam of quarterbacks that includes returning starter Mark Sanchez, who struggled late in the season. The team also has Tim Tebow, who threw only eight passes in 12 games while being used sparingly in 2012. The Jets also signed veteran David Garrard last month and have Greg McElroy and Matt Simms on the roster as well.

"I'm a competitor and I'm going to accept my role on the team, whatever is handed to me, but my job is to compete day in and day out," Smith said.

Smith was asked if he was informed of possibly competing for a starting job.

"The only thing they guaranteed me is that I'm going to be a Jet today and now it's time for me to go in and meet with them and see where all of that stands," Smith said.

Smith also added he believed he was a franchise quarterback.

"I do believe so and for a number of reasons, but the main thing is that I'm not only coming into practice, I'm going to come into work and I'm going to compete daily and I'm going to also do my best to better my teammates in order for us to win a Super Bowl," Smith said.

Jacksonville had the first pick of round two and took Florida International safety Jonathan Cyprien. The Titans then traded up with San Francisco to take Tennessee wide receiver Justin Hunter, and the Philadelphia Eagles grabbed Stanford tight end Zach Ertz at No. 35 overall.

The 49ers later traded up in the draft to select Rice tight end Vance McDonald at No. 55 overall. The 49ers dealt the 61st overall selection and a sixth- round pick to Green Bay to get McDonald.

Green Bay took Alabama running back Eddie Lacy at No. 61. Lacy racked up 1,182 yards and 16 touchdowns on 184 carries as a junior in helping the Crimson Tide to back-to-back national championships. He gives the Packers another offensive weapon for quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who on Friday was rewarded with a five- year contract extension believed to be worth $110 million.

Lacy was the third running back selected in this year's draft, with Cincinnati nabbing North Carolina's Giovani Bernard with the fifth pick in the second round (No. 37 overall) and Denver taking Wisconsin's Montee Ball at No. 58.

The 2012 Doak Walker Award winner and a 2011 Heisman Trophy finalist, Ball is the NCAA's career leader in total touchdowns (83) and rushing touchdowns (77).

With the 56th pick, the Baltimore Ravens drafted Kansas State inside linebacker Arthur Brown as a possible replacement for the retired Ray Lewis. Brown, the 2012 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, played his first two seasons at Miami-Florida before transferring to K-State, and had 201 tackles in two years for the Wildcats.

Brown was taken through a trade with Seattle. The Seahawks obtained Baltimore's second-rounder (No. 62) and chose Texas A&M running back Christine Michael, while also receiving a fifth-round pick (No. 165) and sixth-rounder (No. 199).

Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders announced Atlanta's second-round pick (No. 60), which was Southeast Louisiana cornerback Robert Alford.

LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu was taken by the Cardinals in the third round (69th overall). Nicknamed "Honey Badger," Mathieu was a 2011 Heisman Trophy finalist who was dismissed from the Tigers' program just one week into preseason training camp in August of 2012 due to a violation of team rules.

West Virginia wide receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey, meanwhile, will be reunited in St. Louis. The Rams took Austin No. 8 overall Thursday, and Bailey was taken in the third round (No. 92).

Missouri linebacker Zaviar Gooden was the last player taken in round three, going to the Tennessee Titans.

The second and third rounds took place Friday. The remaining four rounds will occur on Saturday.


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