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Manti Te'o, Matt Barkley fall from NFL draft first round

Collect your prize if your mock draft pegged Wisconsin center Travis Frederick going ahead of West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith and Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o.

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock predicted on "Path to the Draft" this week that only one quarterback would be drafted in the first round. The surprise is that it was Florida State's EJ Manuel, who was alone in the first round after Smith spent the entire pre-draft season as the consensus top quarterback available. Manuel went to the Buffalo Bills at No. 16 overall.

All of the teams between No. 10 and No. 32 in the draft possessed either quarterbacks they drafted in the past few years or established veterans. Once Smith started sliding, it became obvious that Mayock was correct in anticipating most of the quarterback activity would occur in the second and third rounds.

Although smokescreen reports surfaced saying the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings were jockeying for Te'o, it's far less surprising that he fell out of the first round. Te'o isn't as physically gifted as recent inside linebacker studs such as Patrick Willis and Luke Kuechly.


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Poor showings in the BCS title game and the NFL Scouting Combine raised concerns that Te'o's subpar speed and athleticism would make him a two-down player in the NFL. Linebackers of that ilk typically can be found on the draft's second day.

With Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib and USC signal-caller Matt Barkley joining Smith and Te'o as first-day fallers, there definitely is intrigue at the top of the second round this year. The Jacksonville Jaguars are sitting pretty, with the option of choosing between the three quarterbacks or shopping the No. 33 overall pick to a team desperate for the top signal-caller on their own board.

NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday the Jags would grab Nassib if he's still on the board to begin the second round. Was that with the expectation that Smith already would be long gone? We'll find out shortly after 6:30 p.m. ET on Friday.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.

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