Saturday, April 27, 2013

Te'o picked in the second round

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Manti Te'o made it to the NFL a day later than he expected, motivated to play well because he was snubbed in the first round of the draft.

Unconcerned about a hoax involving a fake girlfriend and a flop in the national championship game that have dogged Te'o for four months, San Diego Chargers rookie general manager Tom Telesco moved up seven spots in the second round to draft the Notre Dame linebacker on Friday night.

''I did expect to go in the first round. But things happened and all it did was give me more motivation to get better,'' Te'o said in a conference call with reporters.

Te'o had spent Thursday with family members in Hawaii, watching the first round of the draft and waiting for a phone call that never came.

That call came Friday.

''I don't know if I have something to prove, but it definitely puts a huge fire under my butt to just be better,'' Te'o said. ''Again, that's the best thing that ever could happen to me. I'm already naturally a motivated person who just wants to be the best. All yesterday did was just give me more motivation and more fire to just go out there and play football and do well at it.''

***

Offensive tackles Eric Fisher and Luke Joeckel were the first two picks in the 2013 NFL Draft, the first time since 1968 that the top two picks were offensive linemen. Seven more blockers were selected in the subsequent 30 picks Thursday.

Fisher became only the fourth offensive lineman to be selected with the first overall pick in the NFL draft. The Central Michigan left tackle was chosen No. 1 Thursday by the Kansas City Chiefs, who held the top pick for the first time in modern draft history (since 1967).

Joeckel, a junior from Texas A&M, solidifies the Jaguars' offensive line, even if first-year coach Gus Bradley still isn't certain of the identity of his starting quarterback. Bradley said Joeckel will start as a right tackle with Eugene Monroe on the left side.

The Raiders traded the third overall pick to the Miami Dolphins, who used the pick to draft defensive end Dion Jordan from Oregon. Miami dealt its 12th pick and a second-rounder (42nd overall) to the Raiders. Jordan became the first Oregon player drafted in the top 10 and the highest overall pick since Haloti Ngata (12th, 2006).

The Eagles, in their first draft without Reid since 1998, continued the offensive tackle theme, drafting Oklahoma's Lane Johnson, a unique athlete who played quarterback in high school and made only 13 career starts. Johnson is viewed as an ideal fit for coach Chip Kelly's fast-breaking, no-huddle offense.

Two more pass rushers with unique speed and agility followed before the Arizona Cardinals snagged another offensive lineman with the seventh pick. The Detroit Lions grabbed BYU defensive end Ezekiel Ansah, born in Ghana and a football neophyte compared by scouts to Giants' All-Pro Jason Pierre-Paul, and the Browns drafted LSU outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo.

Guard Jonathan Cooper (North Carolina), who has 47 career starts and the ability to play center, can help solidify the Cardinals' wobbly offensive line. He was the first guard drafted with a top-10 pick since 1997 (Chris Naeole, Saints); Alabama's Chance Warmack came off the board three picks later to the Tennessee Titans and head coach Mike Munchak.

One of three teams who entered Thursday with multiple picks, the St. Louis Rams shook up the draft by trading for the No. 8 selection and drafting West Virginia sparkplug wide receiver and kick returner Tavon Austin (5-8, 172). He was the only skill-position player drafted until the Bills used the 16th pick acquired from St. Louis to take quarterback EJ Manuel. Not since 2000, when Chad Pennington was selected 18th by the New York Jets, has the draft reached this point before a quarterback was chosen.

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