SI.com 2003 NFL Draft 2003 NFL Draft


Clockwatchers

Countdown to draft day under way, but Cincy in no hurry

Posted: Tuesday April 01, 2003 2:48 PM
  Byron Leftwich Byron Leftwich could be the fifth first-round QB taken by the Bengals. Craig Jones/Getty Images

By B. Duane Cross, SI.com

Less than one month from Draft Day 2003 and this much is certain: There is no certainty concerning the consensus No. 1 pick. Not even Cincinnati knows what it will do; the Bengals are biding their time until after Byron Leftwich works out April 7.

However, head coach Marvin Lewis says there will be no suspense. Cincinnati -- if it keeps the No. 1 overall choice -- will have the player signed, sealed and delivered before handing over its choice April 26.

After tossing out two mock drafts with trades, this version plays it straight -- no trades, no free agency what-ifs. That said, there are a couple points to keep in mind:

  • Terrell Suggs doesn't come along every year. Houston may be tempted to take him and roll the dice that a tackle (Eric Steinbach, perhaps?) will still be available at No. 36.

  • Carolina isn't likely to take a QB with its first pick. The Panthers believe Jake Delhomme is their man, even if it's for the short term. Carolina could easily land a QB at No. 45.

  • The Jets could make a move with either or both of their No. 1s, but New York didn't in 2000 and landed four starters. More of the same could be on tap for '03.

  • New England shored-up its defense in free agency, so both first-rounders won't go on that side of the ball. And remember, the Patriots may still trade Tebucky Jones. Adding a running back isn't far-fetched.

  • If Leftwich falls out of the top 10, he could land in Pittsburgh. Nos. 11-26 are set at QB, but don't be surprised if the Steelers make a move up to secure him. After that, Pittsburgh should concentrate on its secondary.

  • Finally, Tim Rattay could be the heir apparent to Brett Favre in Green Bay. He already knows the West Coast system, playing the past three years in San Francisco. The 49ers have already tendered Rattay a $605,000 contract. Still, he could be had for a seventh-round pick.

    SI.com's 2003 Mock Draft
    Pick Team Pos. Player College Ht. Wt. Class
    1 CB Terence Newman Kansas State 5'10" 189 Sr.
    Gary Glick, Colo. A&M: Only DB to go No. 1 in the draft (Pit., 1956). Until now.
    2 WR Charles Rogers Michigan State 6'2" 202Jr.
    Is this really the only can't-miss pick of the first round?
    3 DE Terrell Suggs Arizona State 6'3" 262Jr.
    Forget his on-campus workout; this league is all about playing on Sundays.
    4 DT Jimmy Kennedy Penn State 6'4" 322Sr.
    Thirtysomethings Ted Washington and Keith Traylor aren't getting any younger.
    5 QB Carson Palmer USC 6'5" 232Sr.
    Pokes' revolving door under center stops -- for the next 10 years.
    6 WR Andre Johnson Miami (Fla.) 6'2" 230Jr.
    Cards lost free agency's top WR, but quickly find a replacement.
    7 CB Marcus Trufant Washington State 5'11" 199Sr.
    Vikings can afford a 5-11 CB; he won't face Randy Moss on game days.
    8 WR Taylor Jacobs Florida 6'0" 205Sr.
    For all the Fun 'n' Gun, he would only be the Gators' fourth first-round WR.
    9 DT Dewayne Robertson Kentucky 6'1" 317Jr.
    Offense was addressed in free agency; defense is the draft-day theme.
    10 QB Kyle Boller California 6'3" 234Sr.
    This could prove to be the second slam dunk of the top 10.
    11 DT Kevin Williams Oklahoma State 6'4" 304Sr.
    New defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes gets the anchor for his scheme.
    12 LB Boss Bailey Georgia 6'3" 233Sr.
    D-backs are a need, but improving the LBs is a bigger concern.
    13 DT Johnathan Sullivan Georgia 6'3 313Jr.
    N.Y. makes the sensible pick for a future defensive stalwart.
    14 RB Larry Johnson Penn State 6'1" 228Sr.
    Deft offseason improvements make this pick a luxury.
    15 DT William Joseph Miami (Fla.) 6'5" 308Sr.
    Could be a tackle, could be an end -- but it will be a defensive lineman
    16 DE Jerome McDougle Miami (Fla.) 6'2" 264Sr.
    NFL's 32nd-ranked defense needs immediate improvements.
    17 LB E.J. Henderson Maryland 6'0" 245Sr.
    A return to the Dome Patrol days of old starts right here, right now.
    18 S Ken Hamlin Arkansas 6'2" 209Jr.
    A play-maker built for roaming center field in the Superdome.
    19 DE Cory Redding Texas 6'4" 279Sr.
    He brings youth on the corner to eventually supplant any holdover.
    20 DE Kenny Peterson Ohio State 6'3" 298Sr.
    A much-needed pass rusher, he can also play down if needed.
    21 T Jordan Gross Utah 6'4" 300Sr.
    Brownies will have to find another area to complain about.
    22 WR Bryant Johnson Penn State 6'2" 214Sr.
    Defense addressed at No. 13, so J-E-T-S take Laveranues Coles' replacement.
    23 S Rashean Mathis Bethune-Cookman 6'0" 202Sr.
    Defensive line is more logical; Sam Adams is a rent-a-player, at best.
    24 DE Chris Kelsay Nebraska 6'4" 273Sr.
    He could play OLB or MLB -- with Rob Morris moving to the outside.
    25 T Kwame Harris Stanford 6'7" 310Jr.
    Luke Petitgout re-signed, so Harris would replace departed Mike Rosenthal.
    26 DT Ty Warren Texas A&M 6'4' 307Sr.
    With Dana Stubblefield cut loose, this is an area for improvement.
    27 QB Byron Leftwich Marshall 6'5" 241Sr.
    Not likely Lord Byron slips this far, but if he gets past Carolina at No. 9 ...
    28 WR Kelley Washington Tennessee 6'2" 223So.
    A risky pick? Maybe not after his impressive Pro Day workout (4.45 in the 40).
    29 CB Dennis Weathersby Oregon State 6'0' 204Sr.
    Three D-backs have left this offseason -- and DE could become an issue, too.
    30 DE Michael Haynes Penn State 6'3' 281Sr.
    Excellent pass rusher fills the void left by Hugh Douglas' departure.
    31 WR Brandon Lloyd Illinois 6'0" 184Sr.
    Add another offensive weapon to the AFC's second-most prolific scorers.
    32 S Mike Doss Ohio State 5'10" 207Sr.
    Joining an aging secondary, this is a perfect fit for Buckeyes' big hitter.

    React

    You've seen our fourth version of the 2003 Mock Draft, now give us yours.

    From the Bengals at No. 1 through the Raiders at No. 32, take your best shot at predicting what will go down during the first round April 26 in New York.

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    SI.com's 2003 Mock Draft -- Version 3.0
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    SI.com's 2003 Mock Draft -- Version 1.0
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