Trades the rule rather than the exception in Round 1Posted: Saturday April 26, 2003 12:18 PM
NEW YORK (AP) -- The Cincinnati Bengals grabbed Southern Cal quarterback Carson Palmer with the first overall pick in the NFL Draft on Saturday.
Palmer won the Heisman Trophy last season by completing 288 of 458 passes for 3,369 yards and 32 touchdowns. He ended his college career by throwing for 303 yards and one TD in Southern Cal's Orange Bowl win against Iowa.
Palmer started the Trojans' final four games as a freshman in 1998, and redshirted a year later after breaking his collarbone in game three. He came back completely healthy and started every game in 2000 and 2001 before living up to his high school hype last year.
The 6-foot-5, 232-pound Palmer completed 59 percent of his passes in college for 11,365 yards, 71 touchdowns and 46 interceptions.
Palmer has great mechanics with good accuracy and a nice touch. He doesn't easily make the quick throw, and occasionally forces the ball in traffic. Palmer can be heavy-footed at times and was a streaky thrower as a Trojan. But his steady improvement in college could lead to a great career in the NFL.
Palmer actually agreed to contract terms Thursday. He's the first Heisman winner selected at the top of the draft since Vinny Testaverde went to Tampa Bay in 1987.
Palmer is expected to back up Jon Kitna this season for the Bengals, who were 2-14 last season, giving them the first choice for the third time in a decade -- although they traded for it in 1995 and took running back Ki-jana Carter. In 1994, they earned the opening spot and took DT Dan Wilkinson.
Neither made much impact in Cincinnati.
Quarterback Joey Harrington has another target after the Detroit Lions took Michigan State wide receiver Charles Rogers with the second overall pick.
Rogers left the Spartans a year early after two outstanding seasons. He grabbed 57 passes for 1,200 yards and 12 TDs as a sophomore, and had 68 receptions for 1,351 yards and 13 TDs last year. He received the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's top college receiver.
Rogers is a gifted receiver with size, speed, athletic ability and sure hands. He's a tremendous leaper who's a guaranteed six points when left open.
The 6-2, 202-pound Rogers had touchdown receptions in 13 consecutive games, and should give the sports networks plenty of highlight footage. He's a natural deep threat who needs to work on his short routes.
Rogers can be double-teamed and loses concentration at times. He also has an abrasive demeanor and believes all of his hype. But he's probably the best receiver in the draft, just ahead of Miami's Andre Johnson.
Andre Johnson was the second wide receiver taken. The Houston Texans selected the University of Miami product with the third overall pick.
Johnson started his last two years at Miami, catching a combined 85 passes for more than 1,700 yards and 19 TDs. He had 48 receptions last year for 1,038 yards and nine TDs before leaving the Hurricanes a year early.
He was the co-M-V-P of the 2002 Rose Bowl with seven receptions for 199 yards and two TDs versus Nebraska. Johnson also was a valuable kick-returner for the Hurricanes.
The 6-2, 230-pound Johnson was a Big East sprinter, winning the 60 and 100 meters last year. He also has a 41-inch vertical leap and all the tools to become an All-Pro. Johnson can make the great catch, but loses concentration on occasion, leading to dropped balls. He's very elusive and explosive after the catching, making him one of the two top receivers available in the draft.
The New York Jets used the fourth overall pick to take defensive tackle Dewayne Robertson. The Jets dealt the 13th and 22nd draft picks to the Chicago Bears on Friday for a shot at taking Robertson.
Robertson was a three-year starter at Kentucky before giving up his final season of eligibility. He was named second-team All-SEC last year, recording 48 tackles and five sacks.
Knee and ankle injuries hampered Robertson's sophomore season, limiting him to 26 tackles and one sack. His career numbers don't prove it, but he has the ability to dominate and isn't easy to block.
The 6-1, 317-pound Robertson gets off the ball quickly and continues to develop his pass-rushing skills. He can get upfield, has good instincts and uses his wide frame well.
The Dallas Cowboys took cornerback Terence Newman with the fifth overall selection.
Newman last year received the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back. The Kansas State product had five interceptions and broke up 14 passes last season. He finished with ten picks in four years with the Wildcats.
Newman did everything last season. He had four receptions for 98 yards and a touchdown, returned 26 punts for 388 yards and two TDs and took back 13 kickoffs for 370 yards. He was the second Kansas State player to return a punt and a kickoff for touchdowns in the same season.
Newman has blazing speed and superb leaping ability. He ran a sub four-four in the 40 at the Combine and displayed a 41-inch vertical leap.
The 5-10, 189-pound Newman is scary good on coverage, although his tackling shows room for improvement. He should be a number-one corner in the NFL and an outstanding returner in the pros.
The New Orleans Saints traded up to take defensive tackle Johnathan Sullivan of Georgia. The Saints acquired the sixth overall pick from the Arizona Cardinals just minutes before the selection.
Sullivan was a two-year starter as a Bulldog, and named first-team All-SEC by The Associated Press as a junior last season. He had 74 tackles, 15 1/2 tackles for loss and four sacks in 2002 after getting 46 tackles, four sacks and three interceptions the year before. Sullivan also played 10 games as a true freshman.
The 6-3, 313-pound Sullivan has good athletic ability and better-than-average strength and quickness. He changes direction well and can be disruptive in the backfield. He plays hard and is persistent, rarely taking a down off.
Sullivan is a solid player who could see time at tackle or end in the NFL. He needs to be quicker off the ball and a bit trickier on the line to become Pro Bowl material.
The Jacksonville Jaguars used the seventh overall pick to take quarterback Byron Leftwich of Marshall. The Jags made the selection shortly after the clock ran out on the Minnesota Vikings.
The 6-5, 241-pounder played in all 12 games last year despite a serious shin injury suffered in November. Leftwich completed 331 of 491 passes for 4,268 yards, 30 TDs and 10 interceptions to earn serious Heisman consideration.
Leftwich replaced Pennington in 2000 and threw for more than 3,300 yards and 21 TDs as a sophomore. He left school with two consecutive seasons of more than 4,000 passing yards. Leftwich finished with nearly 1,200 yards, 89 TDs and 28 interceptions.
Leftwich is a great leader who will play despite tremendous pain. He has tremendous size and arm strength with a high release point. Leftwich also is tough to take down, but loses accuracy when he's scrambling. He may not develop into a prototypical pocket passer, but will fit in with an imaginative offense.
The Carolina Panthers used the eighth pick to take offensive lineman Jordan Gross of Utah.
Gross was an Outland Trophy finalist as a senior after starting every game for the third consecutive year. He spent last season at left tackle after splitting time on the left and right side his previous two years.
The 6-4, 300-pound Gross looked very good in the Combine, giving scouts a chance to see him play in various situations. He's very nimble with exceptional body control and great use of hands.
Gross has demonstrated an ability to play on either side at the guard or tackle position. He mechanics are impressive, as is his first step off the ball. There seems to be very little he can't do on the line.
Gross isn't the biggest lineman and didn't get a chance to prove himself against topflight competition while at Utah. His run-blocking skills show room for improvement, and a few more pounds wouldn't hurt. But he has the ability to become a constant Pro Bowl player.
The Minnesota Vikings finally chose defensive lineman Kevin Williams with the ninth pick. The Vikings passed on the seventh and eighth picks before taking Williams.
Williams turned heads at the Senior Bowl, and his stock rose during workouts. He played every game for four seasons at Oklahoma State, averaging 40 tackles, 10 for loss and 4 1/2 sacks.
The 6-5, 304-pound Williams played tackle in college but is projected as an end in the pros. He has good hands, quickness and speed to go along with confidence and maturity.
Williams put on 20 pounds last year without losing a step. He's a bit average on quarterback pursuit and can be neutralized by a bigger offensive lineman. But his quickness and instincts make him tough to contain on the edge.
The Baltimore Ravens landed defensive end-linebacker Terrell Suggs with the 10th selection.
Suggs left Arizona State a year early following a highly decorated junior season. He won the Lombardi Trophy as the nation's top lineman, and the Ted Hendricks Award as the country's best defensive end. Suggs earned them by leading the nation with 24 sacks while recording 69 tackles, 29 1/2 for loss.
Suggs, 20, had 10 sacks in each of his first two seasons, and averaged 53 tackles and nearly 15 sacks in three years at Arizona State. He was named to the All-Pac Ten team his final two seasons and was an All-American last year.
The 6-3, 262-pound Suggs is a pure pass-rusher with an amazing burst off the line. He's a tireless worker with superb speed and good change-of-direction. Even double and triple coverages couldn't stop Suggs from reaching the quarterback.
Suggs could wind up being a linebacker in a three-four scheme.
Marcus Trufant is a Seattle Seahawk after being chosen with the 11th overall pick in the draft.
Trufant was Washington State's top defensive back and punt-returner last season. He had 69 tackles and three interceptions, and returned 32 punts for 341 yards.
Trufant started seven games as a true freshman, and every game a year later. A broken hand forced him to miss five games in 2001, limiting him to 37 tackles and three interceptions.
The 5-11, 199-pound Truffant is an outstanding athlete and a quiet leader. He didn't allow a touchdown reception his last two years with the Cougars. His cover skills are smooth and aggressive, and his speed is deceptive.
Trufant doesn't always participate in running plays, and he isn't a great tackler. He'll be an outstanding pro if he continues to play like he did at the Senior Bowl.
The St. Louis Rams went for a defensive tackle with the 12th overall pick, taking Penn State's Jimmy Kennedy.
Kennedy had a breakout year as a senior with 87 tackles, 16 for loss and 5 1/2 sacks. He was a second-team All-Big Ten pick in 2002 after starting every game the previous two seasons. He won a game as a junior by blocking a potential game-winning field goal against Ohio State.
Kennedy worked very hard after showing up at school weighing over 400 pounds. The six-four Kennedy played at 322 pounds last season while showing quickness off the ball and the ability to react quickly. He also has good instincts, character and balance, plus natural hand an arm strength that allows him to neutralize blockers.
Kennedy is an instinctive run-stopper who could improve his pass-rushing skills. He has a chance to be a solid NFL player if he controls his weight.
The New England Patriots flip-flopped picks with the Chicago Bears, moving up a notch to take defensive tackle Ty Warren of Texas A&M.
Warren was a versatile lineman in three seasons, playing tackle, nose tackle and end. He had 52 tackles, 12 for loss and 4 1/2 sacks last year despite missing two games. Warren came back from a knee injury as a sophomore to record 41 tackles and four sacks.
The 6-4, 307-pound Warren is a powerful, quick athlete who can dominate. He's a major force when healthy, in shape and playing hard. Warren isn't always quick off the ball and doesn't shed blockers consistently. His technique can get sloppy, but he still possesses the ability to stuff the run.
The Chicago Bears selected Penn State defensive end Michael Haynes with the 14th overall choice in the draft.
Haynes had a breakout year for Penn State in 2002 with 80 tackles, 23 for loss and 15 sacks. He also broke up four passes, recovered a fumble and forced seven fumbles. Haynes capped his college career with two forced fumbles at the Senior Bowl.
The six-three, 281-pounder has great instincts near the ball and good movement as a pass-rusher. Haynes has big play ability and shows flashes of being an exceptional pro pass-rusher. He lacks topflight speed for a lineman and doesn't have great power at the point of attack against the run. But he's a natural ball hawk who solidified his spot in the draft with an outstanding senior season and great work at the Combine.
The Philadelphia Eagles grabbed Jerome McDougle with the 15th overall pick after acquiring the selection from San Diego.
McDougle played two years at Miami, averaging 56 tackles, 14 for loss and seven sacks each season. He started every game in 2001 and won All-Big East Conference honors. He missed the season opener last year because of a torn pectoral muscle, but came back to play in the next eleven games and the Fiesta Bowl.
The 6-2, 264-pound McDougle has a quick first step with excellent pass-rush potential. He uses his hands and arms well while playing with leverage against the run.
McDougle is a shade small for a lineman and needs to improve his technique, particularly against the run. He could be neutralized by better offensive tackles in college, but has great pursuit from outside.
The Pittsburgh Steelers traded up to select strong safety Troy Polamalu with the 16th pick in the draft. The Steelers acquired the choice in a deal with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Polamalu was bothered by an ankle injury that limited him to 68 tackles for Southern Cal last year. He was the team's MVP and was All-Pac 10 as a junior, when he had 98 tackles, three interceptions and three blocked punts. He returned three interceptions for touchdowns in four years with the Trojans.
Polamalu is a tremendously strong defensive back with great desire and competitiveness. He's excellent in run support, has good range and gets a good jump on the ball.
The 5-10, 206-pounder can cover man-to-man, even against tight ends. He loves to hit and tackles well. Polamalu doesn't read or diagnose well, and sometimes doesn't play in control. He will be a superb pro if his cover skills begin to match his hitting ability.
Penn State wide receiver Bryant Johnson was selected by the Arizona Cardinals with the 17th overall pick.
Johnson was the Nittany Lions' primary receiver the last two years, and had 48 receptions for 917 yards and four touchdowns as a senior. He split time as a receiver and defensive back as a sophomore.
Johnson had 51 catches for 866 yards and three TDs as a junior, one of the bright spots in Penn State's dismal 2001 season. He returned 41 punts last season for 528 yards and a score.
The 6-2, 214-pound Johnson is a possession receiver with great hands and concentration. He'll catch the ball thrown over the middle and can deke a defender on a deep route. Johnson doesn't have lightning speed or a quick burst, but he can make up for it with his agility.
The Arizona Cardinals used the 18th pick to land Wake Forest defensive end Calvin Pace.
The 6-4, 269-pound Pace had 73 tackles, 22 for loss and eight sacks for the Demon Deacons last season. He led the team in sacks his sophomore and junior years, getting nine in 2000 and 10 a year later.
Pace suffered a broken leg in Wake's regular-season finale last year, and played at less than 100 percent at the Seattle Bowl. Health and speed have been issues with Pace, but he has better-than-average athletic ability and plays bigger and faster than his times and tests have indicated.
Pace is a somewhat risky first-round pick with a huge upside if he stays healthy and overcomes his lack of speed.
Kyle Boller became the third quarterback taken in the draft. The Baltimore Ravens picked the Cal QB with the 19th pick after acquiring the selection in a trade with New England.
Boller blossomed as a senior in Jeff Tedford's first year as Cal's head coach. After completing fewer than 50 percent of his passes in three seasons, Boller hit 53 percent as a senior for 2,815 yards, 28 TDs and 10 interceptions. He impressed scouts with his accuracy and footwork at the Senior Bowl, and his stock continued to rise at the Combine.
The 6-3, 234-pound Boller persevered on some poor Cal teams before altering his throwing mechanics under Tedford. He threw for 36 touchdowns and 38 interceptions in his first three years.
Boller throws a good quick pass and displays a strong arm, although he may never become a high-percentage passer. He's a fine leader who can take a beating and come back for more. No quarterback made the improvements Boller displayed as a senior, which made him a coveted player.
The Denver Broncos picked Georgia offensive tackle George Foster with the 20th selection in the draft.
Foster seemed to improve every year at Georgia despite injuries suffered before his junior and senior seasons. He's huge at over 6-5 and 338 pounds, and can play either left or right tackle. Foster has very good footwork and is one of the most athletic guys at his position.
A dislocated right wrist marred his senior year, forcing him to block with just one arm. He still managed to be effective for the Bulldogs.
Foster still lacks consistency and technique, a byproduct of missing parts of the last two years to injury. He needs greater lower-body explosion and sometimes plays a little stiff. But Foster has the talent to become a superb lineman if motivated.
The Cleveland Browns took a center with the 21st overall selection, Notre Dame's Jeff Faine.
Faine last season was a second-team All-American and a finalist for the Rimington Award as the nation's top center. He started every game in his first three seasons at Notre Dame before giving up his last year of eligibility.
The 6-3, 303-pound Faine practically lived in the weight room and worked hard to improve his game. He is lightning quick off the snap and uses his upper body strength well. He's an effective blocker on passing plays and displays a mean streak.
Faine lacks dominating size, and was an average run-blocker at Notre Dame. He's not a gifted athlete, although his brains and durability make him an excellent pro prospect.
The Chicago Bears have a new quarterback. Florida's Rex Grossman was taken with the 22nd pick.
Grossman was the Heisman Trophy runner-up as a sophomore, completing 66 percent of his passes for 3,896 yards, 34 TDs and 12 interceptions under Florida head coach Steve Spurrier. He also was the AP player of the year and a first-team All-SEC that season.
The 6-1, 217-pound Grossman regressed as a junior before leaving school a year early. He threw 107 more passes than he did the previous season, but finished with 3,402 yards, 22 TDs and 17 interceptions.
Grossman might be the most mechanically sound Q B in the draft. He has a quick release, yet is patient in the pocket. Grossman throws a very catchable ball and is extremely confident. But he tends to rely on his natural talent and has turned off scouts with his off-field attitude. He also had a sub-par showing at the Combine and probably could have benefited from another year with the Gators.
The Buffalo Bills feel Willis McGahee will make a full recovery. The Miami running back has been taken by the Bills with the 23rd pick in the draft.
McGahee has made great physical strides since tearing multiple knee ligaments in the Fiesta Bowl against Ohio State in January. He showed incredible talent before the injury, running 262 times for 1,686 yards and 27 TDs for the Hurricanes last year.
When healthy, McGahee had all the tools to become one of the finest backs in NFL history. He's worked extremely hard during rehab and is way ahead of schedule.
McGahee was a Heisman finalist last year, but it's uncertain he'll be able to play this season. Time will tell if he can show his old form again.
The Indianapolis Colts used the 24th overall pick in the draft to grab Iowa tight end Dallas Clark.
Clark last season grabbed 42 passes for 742 yards and four TDs, winning the John Mackey Award as the nation's top tight end.
The 6-3, 257-pound Clark originally enrolled at Iowa as a linebacker and played the position until moving to offense in 2001. He caught 34 passes for 509 yards and four scores as a junior.
Clark is highly competitive with great character. He has good hands and can make the tough catch. Clark has star potential but played the position for only two years. He's not a gifted blocker and needs to work on his strength. But he's a dedicated athlete who's ready and willing to improve.
The New York Giants picked Miami defensive tackle William Joseph with the 25th choice.
Joseph actually had his best season at Miami in 2001, when he recorded 61 tackles, 19 for loss and 10 sacks. He seemed to re-dedicate himself to the game late in that season, and followed hat with 48 tackles and five sacks in 12 games last year.
The six-five, 308-pound Joseph improved his pass-rushing skills at the end of his junior season, and remains solid against the run. He's quick and powerful with the ability to shed blockers inside.
Joseph can dominate when at the top of his game, but generally doesn't do it for long stretches. He knows where the ball is and changes direction well, but it wouldn't hurt if he developed more of a mean streak. Still, he's probably the Hurricanes' best lineman since Warren Sapp.
The San Francisco 49ers chose tackle Kwame Harris with the 26th pick in the draft.
Harris left Stanford a year early after earning first-team All-Pac 10 honors last season. He started every game at right tackle his sophomore and junior seasons and was a second-team all-conference in 2001.
Harris won the Morris Trophy last year as the Pac 10's top lineman, and was an honorable mention for All-America honors.
Harris is talented and quite mobile at 6-7 and 310 pounds. He has great footwork with good leverage and hand placement. Harris also could shift to the left side if needed.
Consistency will determine if Harris has a great NFL career. He's sometimes late off the ball and can be beaten on pass plays.
However, his wealth of talent should give him enough time to improve and develop.
The Kansas City Chiefs added running back insurance for Priest Holmes, taking Penn State's Larry Johnson with the 27th pick.
Johnson was a Heisman finalist last year after finally becoming Penn State's go-to guy. He ran for just 866 yards in his first three seasons before carrying 271 times for 2,087 yards and 20 TDs as a senior. He also caught 41 passes last year for 349 yards and three TDs.
The 6-1, 228-pound Johnson returned kickoffs for the Nittany Lions, averaging nearly 23 yards per return. He also was a valuable special teams player.
Johnson struggled against topflight competition last season. He had a combined 212 yards on 51 carries versus Michigan, Iowa and Ohio State. Johnson also lacks explosiveness and struggles to break low tackles. But his versatility and durability should lead to a long pro career.
The Tennessee Titans landed Oklahoma cornerback Andre Woolfolk with the 28th selection in the draft.
Woolfolk became a fulltime cornerback for the Sooners only last season, making 26 tackles, breaking up five passes and making two interceptions. He began 1999 as the team's starting split end, and saw limited time in the secondary as a sophomore and junior.
Woolfolk had 56 receptions for 836 yards and six TDs with the Sooners, but his days on offense are likely over. He gets a good jump and reacts to the ball well on defense. He's good at reading and reacting, with decent instincts and intelligence.
The 6-1, 197-pound Woolfolk looks like a bona fide NFL prospect as a cornerback. He has good closing speed and change of direction. But Woolfolk obviously is very raw at the corner and needs to get stronger to improve his tackling.
The Green Bay Packers went for a linebacker with the 29th pick, getting Oregon State's Nick Barnett.
Barnett last season had 121 tackles, 20 1/2 for loss and six sacks for the Beavers. He also forced two fumbles and broke up seven passes before making an impressive showing at the Combine.
The 6-1, 236-pound Barnett is a high-energy player with good athletic ability and awareness. He was durable in college and put up great weight room numbers.
Barnett also can contribute on special teams and could see time at strong safety. He's a tweener who doesn't have great size or a big frame.
Sammy Davis is a San Diego Charger after being taken with the 30th overall pick in the draft.
Davis started every game his last three years after starting twice as a true freshman. He had 62 tackles, broke up six passes and had two interceptions for Texas A&M last season.
Davis won All-Big 12 honors as a sophomore and junior, and looked very impressive during Senior Bowl practices.
Scouts love his ball reaction and tackling ability. Davis also has a 40-inch vertical leap and does everything well in position. He's strong in the weight room and plays strong and smart.
The 186-pound Davis is a shade under six feet tall. He has all the intangibles and does everything well, but not great. He's sometimes late in arriving in zone coverage despite his ability to diagnose plays. He doesn't have great range and occasionally plays soft. He likely will be a prototypical bump-and-run corner in the pros.
The Oakland Raiders took California defensive back Nnamdi Asomugha with the 31st pick.
The versatile Asomugha started at both cornerback and safety for the Golden Bears last season, recording 53 tackles, breaking up 10 passes and grabbing three interceptions. He had 54 tackles and broke up seven passes as a junior.
The 6-2, 213-pounder is very physical as a corner, and possesses good cover skills for a safety. Asomugha can disrupt receivers on routes, although his tackling needs to improve.
He's not a natural player, struggling in coverage and sometimes reacting late. He could see early playing time on special teams and evolve into a solid defensive back if he hones his skills.
The first round of the draft ended when the Oakland Raiders picked up defensive lineman Tyler Brayton with the 32nd pick.
Brayton was Colorado's defensive MVP last year while playing both tackle and end. He won All-Big 12 honors after recording 62 tackles, four for loss and seven sacks.
Brayton started every game as a junior and senior, and led the Buffs with four and a-half sacks in 2001. He's a dedicated, tough player who works hard in the weight room and the practice field. Brayton is a team leader with fast hands and good quickness off the ball. His intensity is unsurpassed, and he's a bundle of energy on the field.
The 6-6, 277-pounder lacks quick feet and has a tendency to get caught in traffic. But he's learning to play the outside and has the ability to become a solid end in the NFL.