38. San Diego Chargers: Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame -- Even before the scandal broke, the narrative on Te'o changed from "sure high first-round pick" to "high-character guy with some ugly game tape." With nothing but the tape and a host of personal questions left to answer, NFL teams have to wonder what they're getting if they select Manti Te'o -- especially after a slow 40 at the scouting combine. That performance in Indianapolis also left people wondering how Te'o, who had reduced about 15 pounds from his formerly 6-foot-2, 255-pound frame, could effectively match up with the speed of the modern NFL. Now, we'll see.
39. New York Jets: Geno Smith, QB, West Vriginia -- Well, it's not like this pick will get any media hype. Seriously, he is now the Jets' best quarterback, and this tells you precisely what the new regime thinks of Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow. Smith is not a fully developed quarterback yet, but he presents the most intriguing skill set of any signal-caller in this (admittedly mediocre) draft class at his position. Just as the first half of his 2012 season overinflated expectations to an impossible degree, I believe that he's being castigated too much for the Mountaineers' late-season collapse. He's a big, mobile quarterback who has excelled with his mobility in New York's run-based system, Smith has what it takes to make it in the NFL sooner than later.
[Related: Jets to consider releasing Mark Sanchez]
40. San Francisco 49ers: Cornellius "Tank" Carradine, DE, Florida State -- The best pass-rusher in this class. Had he not suffered a knee injury last season, may have been a top-15 pick. Great fit for the 49ers' defensive line rotation. Carradine comes off the ball consistently with great burst, and a good low bend most of the time. If the edge rush isn't happening, he's got estimable upper-body strength and an effective, if raw, rip move to set tackles and tight ends straight. Has a pretty ferocious inside stunt move that could be developed even more -- this is where he shows impressive straight-line speed to the quarterback, especially for his size. Has no problem with mixing it up in a physical style with larger, more aggressive offensive linemen. Excellent sideline-to-sideline speed and agility to help with crashing through run plays -- he will also use this to flush quarterbacks out of the pocket.
41. Buffalo Bills: Robert Woods, WR, USC -- With E.J. Manuel and Woods, the Bills have added a great deal to their offense. When I was watching Woods' tape, the two words that came to mind over and over were "vision" and "awareness." This is a player who understands where he is in the passing game at all times, and isn't just running around freelancing -- something, by the way, that Marqise Lee has to solve before the NFL gets hold of him. Woods is a sneaky-fast player who will surprise enemy defenses at every level by using angles and spaces to get open and make plays. Great pick.
42. Oakland Raiders: Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State -- Ridiculously athletic blocker with some spatial awareness issues. Tends to flame out against complex stunts and blitzes, and isn't always where he's supposed to be, but his athleticism and relative football inexperience make him a tantalizing prospect over time.
Read More »from The Second Round: Picks 38-42