Damontre Moore left Texas A&M in January, bypassing his senior year with stars in his eyes.
At one point, soon after, at least one mock draft had him second in the NFL Draft behind teammate Luke Joeckel.
Joeckel went second overall Thursday, but Moore had to wait more than 24 hours longer.
Moore, who had only 12 bench press reps at the Scouting Combine and faced questions about his practice habits, was drafted by the New York Giants in the third round (81st overall). He was one of eight players with Texas ties selected Friday after four Texans went Thursday.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Star-Telegram
“I wasn’t expecting to wait, but this is a great opportunity for me to play the game that I love,” Moore, who had 26.5 sacks in three seasons, told reporters in New Jersey. “Just because I didn’t go as high as other people thought I was going to go, it doesn’t really make a difference, because at the end of the day, I still get to play the game I love. It really didn’t matter.”
Moore followed another A&M teammate with as many questions, running back Christine Michael, who went to the Seattle Seahawks in the second round (62nd overall). Michael, who had only 88 touches his senior season after being hyped before the year as one of the nation’s top running backs, joins Marshawn Lynch on the Seahawks.
“I’m excited that the Seahawks had faith in me to draft me and put me on the team,” Michael told reporters in Seattle. “I have no complaints at all.”
SMU defensive end Margus Hunt and Rice tight end Vance McDonald also were second-round picks, with Hunt going to the Cincinnati Bengals at No. 53 and McDonald to the San Francisco 49ers at No. 55. Hunt, an Estonia native, didn’t begin playing football until four years ago.
“He’s really a player that keeps getting better,” Bengals coach Marvin Lewis told reporters in Cincinnati. “He’s got great stature — unbelievable measurables — but really grew and got better as the season went on last year. He’s really a tremendous, tremendous athlete and a great story that comes with him.”
Four other Texans joined Moore in the third round: Baylor receiver Terrance Williams went to the Dallas Cowboys (74th), Texas receiver Marquise Goodwin went to the Buffalo Bills (78th), Arkansas and Fort Bend Marshall running back Knile Davis went to the Kansas City Chiefs (96th) and Missouri and Pflugerville linebacker Zaviar Gooden went to the Tennessee Titans (97th).
Smith leads parade
West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, who had expected to go in the first round, dejectedly left Radio City Music Hall on Thursday after not being selected.
He had not been expected to return to Radio City for Round 2 but had a change of heart after talking to his advisors.
Smith didn’t wait long Friday, the seventh player selected in the second round.
He received a call from Jets general manager John Idzik as the usually critical Jets fans in attendance wildly cheered the pick.
Smith was the first of five Big 12 players selected Friday. Kansas State linebacker Arthur Brown also was a second-round pick (96th overall), going to the Baltimore Ravens. In the third round Terrance Williams went to the Cowboys , Marquise Goodwin went to the Bills and West Virginia receiver Stedman Bailey went to the St. Louis Rams (92nd).
Smith is the sixth quarterback on the Jets’ roster, joining Mark Sanchez, David Garrard, Tim Tebow, Greg McElroy and Matt Simms. Sanchez will make $8.25 million this year.
“Whichever team decided to take me and decided to bring me in as a guy, maybe a franchise guy, maybe a project, you never know how the situation may end,” Smith said. “But to be a Jet is a dream come true for me.”
Smith didn’t have anything to wear a second day at Radio City, so he sent his mother shopping. He wore a white sweater over a collared shirt and a neck tie, less formal than what he wore Thursday.
“I don’t even know [where it’s from],” Smith said, “but it looks nice.”
Goodwin was just thankful to go in the third round after an unproductive senior season that saw him touch the ball only 33 times, including 13 carries.
The 2012 Olympic long jumper should get more touches with the Bills now that he is a full-time football player instead of splitting his time between football and track.
“He played during the season, and he was on the track team in the spring,” Bills coach Doug Marrone told reporters in Buffalo. “That area of development for him was not there and it was probably there for most of the players in this draft. What is interesting is when you look at upside and things that you can do, I think there is a higher ceiling because that level of development that most of the players in this draft have, he was not a part of because of what he did with track.”