Te'o Time in San Diego; Geno Smith Goes to Jets

Article excerpt

Byline: Associated Press

Manti Te'o and Geno Smith provided the sizzle previously missing from the NFL draft.

Te'o is headed to San Diego, Smith is a Jet, and Radio City Music Hall shook with the kind of noise usually heard in stadiums when they were selected.

The theater rocked with two picks within minutes of each other Friday night.

Te'o, the Notre Dame All-America linebacker, was chosen sixth in the second round by the Chargers, drawing a loud roar from the fans. One spot later, the Jets took the West Virginia quarterback, drawing a raucous reaction of cheers and boos.

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 40-yard dash times, 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. …