By Kevin Kelly
The Cincinnati Enquirer
When they signed quarterback Carson Palmer last week, the Bengals removed any suspense about who would be taken first in the NFL Draft.
But while Cincinnati chose the Heisman Trophy winner with an eye toward the future, its AFC North counterparts addressed current needs during an eventful first round Saturday.
The Ravens and Steelers - both teams Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis spent time with as an assistant - each traded for higher picks, while Cleveland strengthened its offensive line.
Baltimore (7-9 overall, 3-3 in the AFC North last season) drafted Arizona State defensive end Terrell Suggs with the 10th pick, and traded with New England to get California quarterback Kyle Boller at No. 19.
"They got a quarterback for the future," Lewis said, "and they ended up with a good outside rusher."
The Ravens tried to trade up to No. 7, but negotiations with the Vikings stalled at the last second.
Suggs set the NCAA record with 24 sacks last season and won the Lombardi Trophy. He recorded 69 tackles and one interception and is expected to play outside linebacker in Baltimore's 3-4 defense.
"I'm going to a defensive kingdom," Suggs said.
Boller completed 47.8 percent of his passes for 1,301 yards and 64 touchdowns in four seasons at California. With Jeff Blake gone to the Cardinals, Boller could compete with Chris Redman for the starting spot.
The Steelers (10-5, 6-0) traded their third and sixth-round picks to Kansas City to move up to No. 16 in the first round.
Pittsburgh used the pick to take USC strong safety Troy Polamalu. A two-time All-American, Polamalu had 278 tackles, 29 sacks, six interceptions and two fumble recoveries during his career at USC.
"Our bottom line on him: This kid, he plays safety like Junior Seau plays linebacker," said Kevin Colbert, Steelers director of football operations during a news conference in Pittsburgh.
The Browns (9-7, 3-3) took Notre Dame center Jeff Faine with the 21st pick. A three-year starter in college and second-team All-American, Faine was touted for his quickness off the ball and ability in pass protection.
"You can't pass on a guy that is a totally dominating player at his particular position," Browns coach Butch Davis said during a news conference in Cleveland.
Lewis said the Bengals had both Polamalu and Faine rated highly.
"It was good to know that we had done the same work," he said.
BENGALS DRAFT ( Complete draft coverage )
Fourth pick Weathersby recovering from gunshot
Bengals all offense on draft's Day 1
Guard Steinbach slips out of first round
Size, speed make WR Washington a threat
Palmer glad fuss is over
Rating the draft: Winners & losers
Draft picks by team | By number
Defensive line dominates first round
Surprise: Browns take center
Ravens, Steelers trade up to fill needs
Three UC players drafted
Five Buckeyes selected
Jets take Colerain grad Askew
Jags get Leftwich; big questions to come
Newman goes to Cowboys
Jets trade up for UK's Robertson
Bad news, good news for Simms
Reds 7, Padres 5
Sunday Box, Runs
Phillies' Millwood no-hits Giants
Reds 7, Padres 6
Photo gallery |
Kearns shows power, promise and poise
Reds E-Mail: Boone genius or time to go?
Solid start relieves Graves
Reds Notebook: Wily Mo gets a start
Reds' Minor League Notebook
Toledo 4, Louisville 0
NL: Dodgers finally get big hit
AL: Angels get lift from Shields
Who's Hot & Who's Not
Fan's guide to the Kentucky Derby
Other Derby Week Events
Where else to go in Louisville
Derby Notebook: New owners for Domestic Dispute
FLYING PIG MARATHON
Flying Pig gets new start
DAUGHERTY: Let's hope XU reason kids come
What's the motta with Matta?
UC defense bares teeth
Three UC players picked in NFL draft
Lesser-known Buckeyes star in spring game
UK unveils two-headed QB
NBA: Jazz not ready to crown Kings
NHL: Ducks take 2-0 lead on Stars
Cyclones go down 3-0 in series
Vogelgesang cracks PBA top 60
College Update: For NKU, winning starts with pitching
Enquirer Power Rankings
Sports on TV-Radio
HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
Mayo billed as next LeBron
Saturday's High School Results
Return to Bengals front page...