Where will Manti Te'o go in the NFL draft? Not before the second round.
Yup, the Notre Dame linebacker was passed over in the first round Thursday, allowing pundits and football and non-football fans alike to prattle for another day about the repercussions of his fake dead girlfriend hoax. The Minnesota Vikings had three first round picks and were a likely bet for Te'o -- but they passed. Perhaps no teams wanted the media circus that comes with his presence.
The fluid, unpredictable (or "subpar") draft was dominated early by lineman. Seven linemen were picked in a row, including offensive tackles Eric Fisher, Luke Joeckel and Lane Johnson, who went in the first four picks.
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But check this out -- not a single quarterback was taken until the 16th round, when the Buffalo Bills snatched Florida State's EJ Manuel. Quarterbacks went first in the past four drafts, but with this year's class short on passers, that meant even standout West Virginia QB Geno Smith has to face the (gasp!) embarrassment of waiting until the second round.
So who went where in the first 10 picks of the draft?
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Central Michigan OT Eric Fisher. As calls of "woo" went out, Fisher popped out of his seat with a Cheshire grin -- as though he had been expecting it. He is the kind of guy the Chiefs can build their team around, with multiple tools and on a quick career trajectory.
5. Detroit Lions: Brigham Young DE Ziggy Ansah. The Ghanaian has experienced an stratospheric rise to prominence. His tackles look brutal, but he's a bit underdeveloped and will need some polishing to fully bring out his tools. The pick was announced by Madden 25 coverman Barry Sanders.
6. Cleveland Browns: Louisana State DE Barkevious Mingo. Speedy and a solid tackler, he was too busy to accept the honor at first, talking on the phone. Apparently, he was telling his fairy godmother that he's going to deliver some sacks this year.
8. St. Louis Rams (traded pick from Buffalo): West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin. With QB Sam Bradford trying to resurrect "The Greatest Show on Turf," the Rams were looking for someone with speed to duck and weave. At 5-foot-8, Austin is a little guy, but tough to nail head-on. He should be around to catch some passes.
10. Tennessee Titans: Alabama OG Chance Warmack. A boost in the arm for the Titans' already competent offensive line, though their defense could've used one more. But who needs defense when you're having so much fun throwing and catching bombs?
Watch the second and third rounds Friday at 6:30/5:30c, and Rounds 4 through 7 Saturday at Noon/11c. All are simulcast on ESPN and NFL Network.
Did you watch the first round of the NFL draft? Were you surprised Manti Te'o wasn't selected in the first round?