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Virginia's Oday Aboushi goes to the New York Jets in the fifth round. Virginia Tech's Vinston Painter goes to the Denver Broncos and Corey Fuller goes to the Detroit Lions in the sixth round.
Central Michigan's Eric Fisher became the first Mid-American Conference player selected at the top when Kansas City’s new regime led by coach Andy Reid chose the 6-foot-7, 306-pound offensive tackle.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
NEW YORK - This was one rush quarterbacks embraced.
Starting with Matt Barkley, the fourth round of the NFL draft was the landing spot for quarterbacks who carried hopes of going much higher. Philadelphia traded up with Jacksonville to get the Southern California QB with the opening pick Saturday.
"I try not to get stressed about things I can't control," Barkley said when asked about his drop in the draft from likely first-rounder in 2012 to No. 98 overall. "I'm just glad I know where my home is and I can't wait to hit the playbook."
Yes, it was three rounds later than Barkley hoped for. Same thing for Ryan Nassib of Syracuse, Landry Jones of Oklahoma and Tyler Wilson of Arkansas, the other quarterbacks chosen in Round 4.
"We're going to take the best value on the board," coach Chip Kelly said, adding the Eagles rated Barkley in the top 50. "There's a prime example. The best value on the board by far was Matt. He's an extremely mature young man, intelligent, articulate. He has that 'it' factor."
Perhaps. But he seemed to have a lot more of it last year, but Barkley opted to return to school. He and the Trojans slumped, Barkley injured his shoulder, and his stock plummeted.
He will join quarterbacks Michael Vick and Nick Foles in Philadelphia.
The New York Giants, hardly in need of a quarterback with Eli Manning in his prime, still dealt with Arizona to move up for Nassib.
Nassib, from the Philadelphia suburbs, took a call from Giants coach Tom Coughlin, but wasn't sure what Coughlin told him.
"To be honest with you, I blacked out. I didn't get everything," Nassib said. "What I did get from him was that first off I had to cut my ties with the Philadelphia Eagles and switch, which won't be a problem."
Oakland, which acquired Matt Flynn from Seattle in the offseason to be its starter, followed two picks later at No. 112 overall with Wilson. Three spots after that, Pittsburgh grabbed Jones, probably hoping to groom him behind Ben Roethlisberger.
"I just think it was time to start grooming a new player, freshen up the room if you will," quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner said.
"I get to learn from one of the best quarterbacks to play the game," Jones added.
Before Saturday's surge, quarterbacks were rare - only one was chosen in each of the first three rounds: Florida State's EJ Manuel by Buffalo in the first round; West Virginia's Geno Smith by the Jets in the second; and North Carolina State's Mike Glennon by Tampa Bay in the third.
In all, 11 QBs were selected, the same number as last year. But four went in the first round in 2012.
A former quarterback, Denard Robinson of Michigan, is headed to Jacksonville, which had one of the league's worst offenses the last two years. Robinson will be switched to running back or receiver by the Jaguars; he set the NCAA record for career yards rushing (4,495) by a quarterback.
"A lot of people have put me at different positions," he said. "Now it's time to go to work."
South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore, who would have been a high pick if healthy but is coming off a second severe knee injury, went to the 49ers 131st overall. San Francisco can afford to "redshirt" Lattimore because it has a strong stable of runners, including Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James.
"We really haven't even talked about that, so I don't have any clue," Lattimore said about possibly sitting out 2013 to heal completely. "My main goal right now is to go in there and work hard, go in there and learn the offense, and if I'm ready to play, I'm going to play, and if I'm not, I'm not."
Lattimore, who dislocated his left knee and tore three ligaments last season, said he spoke with Gore during his rehab.
"And now I'm with the 49ers, and it's just a great, great situation for me," Lattimore said.
Special teamers finally got the call when three kickers went in the fifth round: punters Jeff Locke of UCLA to Minnesota and Sam Martin of Appalachian State to Seattle, and placekicker Caleb Sturgis of Florida to Miami.
National champion Alabama, which had four players chosen previously - three in the first round - had five more go on the final day: linebacker Nico Johnson to Kansas City with the pick after Barkley was taken; guard Barrett Jones, who can play all offensive line positions, to the Rams; DTs Jesse Williams to Seattle and Quinton Dial to San Francisco; and tight end Michael Williams.
Mr. Irrelevant, the 254th and final pick, was tight end Justice Cunningham of South Carolina by Indianapolis.
NEW YORK - Manti Te'o is headed to San Diego.
Geno Smith is a Jet.
Radio City Music Hall was relatively silent for five second-round picks Friday night. Then the theater shook with two selections within minutes of each other.
The Notre Dame All-America linebacker was chosen sixth in the second round by the Chargers, drawing a loud roar from the fans at Radio City Music Hall. One spot later, the Jets took the West Virginia quarterback, drawing a raucous reaction of cheers and boos.
Early in Friday's proceedings, the big names had taken over from the bulk and beef of opening night, when 18 linemen went in the first round.
Te'o, who led the Fighting Irish to the national championship game, was projected as a first-rounder last year. But his poor performance in a rout at the hands of Alabama, some slow workouts, and a tabloid-ready hoax involving a fake girlfriend that became a national soap opera dropped his stock.
"I did expect to go in the first round," Te'o said. "But things happened and all it did was give me more motivation."
When former Chargers defensive back Jim Hill was handed the card to make the announcement by Commissioner Roger Goodell, he was told, "You're going to get a big cheer when you announce this pick."
It was more a mix of surprise and recognition of the most talked-about player in the draft finally finding a landing spot at No. 38 overall.
The Chargers traded up with Arizona to grab Te'o, the Heisman Trophy runner-up. Te'o ran a 4.82-second 40-yard dash at the NFL combine, slow for a linebacker. He did better at Notre Dame's pro day, but NFL teams already had plenty of football reasons to doubt his worthiness as a first-round pick.
He was the third linebacker chosen in this draft.
"It's a perfect scenario. My parents can come and watch, I can go home, it's San Diego," said Te'o, a native of Hawaii. "We're all excited. I can't be any happier."
With the very next pick, the Jets sent their QB situation spiraling into further chaos. They already have Mark Sanchez, who struggled last season but was brought back in great part because of a prohibitive contract. They still have Tim Tebow, who almost certainly soon will be cut. They signed David Garrard, who hasn't played in the NFL since 2010.
And now there is Smith, who waited futilely throughout the first round, returned to the theater Friday and was rewarded.
"It's extremely relieving. I withstood the test of time," he said. "It felt like forever in there."
Safety Johnathan Cyprien of Florida International was the first selection of the second round. Cyprien was a standout in the Sun Belt Conference and really solidified his stock with an excellent performance in the Senior Bowl.
"He's got a passion for the game," coach Gus Bradley said. "He is very animated. He just enjoys it. He loves to play the game. I think he's going to add to what we have here and the attitude that we're looking for."
Arizona added some spice to the third round by selecting former LSU cornerback-kick returner Tyrann Mathieu. The 'Honey Badger was a 2011 Heisman Trophy finalist that LSU dismissed from the team last August for failing a drug test. He was arrested in late October after police said they found marijuana at Mathieu's apartment.
Other second-round picks Friday were Tennessee wide receiver Justin Hunter by the Titans, who traded up with San Francisco; Stanford All-America tight end Zach Ertz by Philadelphia; and North Carolina's Gio Bernard, the first running back chosen, by Cincinnati.
After no running backs were selected in the first round, there were five taken in the second. The number of linemen dropped to five.
The presumed top-rated running back, Eddie Lacy of Alabama, went with the next-to-last selection of the round, to Green Bay.
NCAA record-setting RB Montee Ball of Wisconsin was chosen by Denver.
Tampa Bay's first pick this year was defensive back Johnthan Banks of Mississippi State at No. 43 overall. Washington, which traded it first-rounder last year to draft Robert Griffin III, went for defensive back David Amerson of North Carolina State at No. 51.
New England, known for trading early picks for a bunch of later selections, chose linebacker Jamie Collins of Southern Mississippi at No. 52. Seattle, after trading down six spots with Baltimore, closed out the second round by taking running back Christine Michael of Texas A&M.
Cleveland used its second-rounder, which would have been 39th overall, in last year's supplemental draft to take wide receiver Josh Gordon of Baylor, who made 50 catches for the Browns in 2012.
New Orleans was stripped of its second-round pick in the bounty scandal.
Day 1, Thursday
NEW YORK - Short on glam, slim on glitter and no sign of Manti Te'o, the NFL draft was still a solid B-plus.
As in Big, as in Brawn, as in Bulk, as in Beefy.
We're talking a scale-busting 600 pounds at the outset Thursday night with offensive tackles Eric Fisher of Central Michigan and Luke Joeckel of Texas A&M.
The first seven picks were all linemen: four on offense, three on defense.
"That's a lot of love for the big boys up front, which we usually don't get," Fisher said.
None of the teams making the first 32 selections went for Te'o, not even Minnesota, which had three first-round picks. The All-America linebacker's poor performance in Notre Dame's loss to Alabama in the national championship game surely was a factor. Still to be determined is how much the fake girlfriend hoax cost him.
Unlike the last few years when bumper crops of quarterbacks reigned, this was pure muscle, and lots of it.
Actually, not a single QB was selected until Florida State's EJ Manuel went to Buffalo at No. 16 - the lowest since 2000, when Chad Pennington went 18th to the Jets.
No running backs were chosen, either.
As for Te'o, he ran a 40-yard dash in 4.82 seconds at the NFL combine, slow for a linebacker. He improved at Notre Dame's pro day, but not nearly enough to go in the opening round. In January he acknowledged he was a victim of a hoax - it turned out the dead "girlfriend" he talked about last season wasn't dead and never existed.
Fisher became the first Mid-American Conference player selected at the top when Kansas City's new regime led by coach Andy Reid chose the 6-foot-7, 306-pound offensive tackle.
"This is so surreal," Fisher said. "I'm ready to get to work right now. I'm ready to start playing some football. I can't process what's going on right now."
Fisher was followed by All-American Joeckel going to Jacksonville, defensive end Dion Jordan of Oregon to Miami, which traded up with Oakland, and Oklahoma tackle Lane Johnson to Philadelphia. Not a skill position player yet in sight - a stark change from the last four drafts, when quarterbacks went first.
The procession of linemen continued with BYU defensive end Ziggy Ansah, born in Ghana, going to Detroit; LSU defensive end Barkevious Mingo to Cleveland; and North Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper to Arizona.
That made for a ton of beef after the first seven picks. In all, 18 linemen went in the first round, weighing an estimated 5,650 total pounds.
And they wore it well, with their designer suits that barely were ruffled when they each engulfed Roger Goodell in the now traditional bear hugs between draftee and commissioner.
"It's called a three-piece, right?" asked Joeckel, who sported blue checks with the vested suit, along with a striped tie.
Fisher was only the third offensive tackle picked No. 1, joining Orlando Pace (1997) and Jake Long (2008) since the 1970 merger of the NFL and AFL. It's also the first time since '70 that offensive tackles went 1-2.
Even without a high-profile passer, runner or tackler going at the outset, the fans in the home of the Rockettes were pumped. They chanted "U-S-A, U-S-A" when Goodell paid tribute to the first responders at the Boston Marathon bombings and to the victims of the West, Texas explosion. They roared when Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath began the countdown to the first outdoor Super Bowl in a cold-weather site by taking the podium and screaming: "New York; Super Bowl 48."
The crowd didn't seem to care that early on the picks were all heifers, not hoofers. No Andrew Lucks or RG3s at the top of this crop.
"What you're getting is a very athletic player, a great kid, smart kid, engineering major," Reid said of Fisher, who really began to draw attention with a strong Senior Bowl, showing he could handle the highest level of competition. "He can play any position along the line, and loves to play the game."
Joeckel didn't seem any less thrilled to go No. 2.
"I don't have words for all the emotions I feel," he said. "It's the best feeling of my entire life."
Miami, envisioning Jordan as the next Jason Taylor, sent its first-rounder (12th overall) and this year's second-rounder to Oakland. Then new Eagles coach Chip Kelly got a road-grader for his uptempo offense in Johnson.
"Tackle is not a very sexy position," Johnson said. "But it's a position of dire need."
The next big trade saw the Rams move up eight spots - and send four picks to Buffalo to do so. St. Louis ended the pursuit of heft by grabbing West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin, who at 5-8, 174 pounds, could probably fit in the hip pocket of any of the guys picked ahead of him.
The New York Jets may have found a replacement for star cornerback Darrelle Revis - traded to Tampa Bay - when they picked Alabama All-American Dee Milliner. That was the first of three straight selections from two-time national champion Alabama: Tennessee took guard Chance Warmack and San Diego got offensive tackle D.J. Fluker.
Roll Tide, indeed.
Oakland used the pick it got from the Dolphins for Houston cornerback D.J. Hayden, who nearly died last November after a collision in practice tore a blood vessel off the back of his heart. He was taken to a hospital and underwent surgery.
Unlike with their choice of Milliner, which was met raucous cheers, the Jets next selection, defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson of Missouri, drew scattered boos and even a few "Who?" comments.
"I'm here to bring a championship back to New York," Richardson said.
Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei, who also had a heart scare at the NFL combine but then checked out fine, went 14th to Carolina, followed by Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro to New Orleans.
Then came Manuel, although many analysts pegged West Virginia's Geno Smith as the top quarterback.
Former Patriots guard Joe Andruzzi, who carried an injured female runner to safety after the Boston Marathon explosions, displayed a jersey with the city's 617 area code and "Boston Strong" written on the front. He was supposed to announce New England's pick, but the Patriots dealt it to Minnesota, which took Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson.
Andruzzi, a native New Yorker, said, "There's a new saying in Boston: Boston Strong" before unveiling the jersey as "Sweet Caroline" was played on the loudspeakers.
Pittsburgh, which always seems to find standout linebackers, took the highest-rated one in Georgia's Jarvis Jones. His fellow All-American, Notre Dame's Manti Te'o, was still on the board.
But another member of the Fighting Irish, tight end Tyler Eifert, was chosen 21st overall by Cincinnati.
Atlanta's choice of Washington cornerback Desmond Trufant gave that family three brothers in the league. His older siblings Marcus and Isaiah preceded him.
One major surprise was the New York Giants' selection of Justin Pugh - yet another tackle, but one who wasn't projected to go in the opening round by many draft analysts.
The round took 3 hours, 33 minutes.
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