NEW YORK, New York - It was such a low-key, even boring, 2013 NFL Draft until the New York Jets got the Friday night party started with a wild, second-round cannonball into deeper quarterback controversy that rocked Radio Music City Hall and Mark Sanchez's world.
Wasn't the Jets' circus supposed to leave town when John Idzik arrived as fired general manager Mike Tannenbaum's successor?
Or when four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis was traded to Tampa Bay last Sunday?
Not even close.
Welcome to Woody Johnson's ever-expanding Florham Park, N.J., big top, Geno Smith.
The shocking choice of the former West Virginia passer with the No. 39 overall selection was hands down the stunner of the second and third rounds.
With some arm twisting, first-round snub Smith returned to Radio City Music Hall after spending Thursday night as a forgotten man.
The Jets sure made it worth Smith's while to spend an extra night in Manhattan.
The only thing wilder than former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o and Smith - the two biggest names to fall out of the first round -- getting selected back-to-back Friday night was the clamor Smith's selection caused by becoming the newest competitor in a quarterback controversy made in tabloid heaven.
Suddenly, Tim Tebow became the least of Sanchez's worries.
Sanchez already was engaged in an open competition against David Garrard and Greg McElroy before Idzik added Smith, who led the nation with 42 touchdown passes last season.
And if the Jets cut Sanchez, they'll absorb a $17-million cap hit. Small wonder why one Jets fan wearing a "Namath'' jersey clutched his balding head in disbelief.
Even NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock admitted, "I'm confused by the Geno Smith pick.''
With coach Rex Ryan in the final season of his contract, Smith is clearly Idzik's quarterback of the future, if not the present.
"That's up to Mr. Idzik and Coach Ryan and what decisions they're going to make there, but like I said, I'm coming in with the intentions to compete and we'll see where it goes from there,'' Smith said.
And here's the sorry bottom line: Whomever emerges the starter under center for the Jets, the team has yet to upgrade a 28th-ranked scoring offense sorely lacking in playmakers.
Here are some of the other second night draft surprises:
-- The league continued to thumb its nose at the 2013 quarterback class. Only one signal caller, E.J. Manuel, went in the first round - at No. 16 when the Buffalo Bills traded down to get the guy they targeted all along. And only Smith went in the second round when it was assumed by many pundits that at least four passers - including Syracuse's Ryan Nassib and USC's Matt Barkley -- would join Smith in the second round when the value offset the questions about their inconsistencies. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected North Carolina State's Mike Glennon 73rd overall with Nassib and Barkley still waiting to hear their names called heading into Saturday.
-- Two seasons into his San Francisco 49ers incarnation, former Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh has yet to draft one of his former Cardinal players. Harbaugh owned the 34th pick and could have selected 6-5, 249-pound tight end/H-back Zach Ertz to replace the free-agent departure of Delanie Walker to Tennessee. Instead, Harbaugh, who recruited Ertz, traded out of the 34th spot with the Titans, who moved up to select receiver Justin Hunter.
-- Alabama's Eddie Lacy was supposed to be the first running back off the board. But the first-team all-Southeastern Conference tailback who finished 2012 with 1,322 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns got bumped by North Carolina's Giovani Bernard when Cincinnati took the quick, compact back with the 37th pick. Then, the Pittsburgh Steelers took Michigan State's Le'Veon Bell at No. 48. Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley compares Bell to former Tennessee Titans battering-ram running back Eddie George. And former Wisconsin back Montee Ball was selected 58th by the Denver Broncos as a potential successor to Willis McGahee. Lacy finally went 61st to the Green Bay Packers.
-- Seattle traded down to the final pick of the second round to take a running back? Pete Carroll's Seahawks seemed pretty well stocked in that department with Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin to select Texas A&M speed back Christine Michael. The 5-10, 220-pound tailback is an explosive tackle breaker who runs with low pad level and offers a speed change up to Lynch and Turbin. But at the expense of filling other needs such as another tight end besides Zach Miller or a defensive tackle made the 64th overall pick a bit of a head scratcher. But it's hard to second guess the brain trust of Carroll and general manager John Schneider after the way they hit a home run on an undersized third-round quarterback named Russell Wilson last year.
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