Before you can sort out the 2003 NFL draft, you must sift through the first pick.
The best player on the board appears to be Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Carson Palmer. The team with the first pick is the Cincinnati Bengals. Logic says assign Palmer to the Bengals and move on.
But logic doesn’t always apply to the Bengals.
The Bengals had the 10th pick in the 2002 draft. Logic said they should have taken cornerback Phillip Buchanon, who could have filled their most glaring need. Instead, they reached for offensive tackle Levi Jones.
…All of the options are good. The Bengals need a long-term solution at quarterback. Palmer, the Pac-10′s all-time leading passer, can give it to them.
The Bengals could use a big-play wide receiver. That could be Michigan State’s Charles Rogers. The Bengals attended his campus workout last week, and he ran a 4.30 40-yard dash.
— Rick Gosselin, The Dallas Morning News ”Bengals’ dubious draft history back in play”
Carson Palmer was drafted by the Bengals and spent eight seasons with the team. He made the Pro Bowl twice before knee (2005) and elbow (2008) injuries derailed his career. He was traded to the Oakland Raiders during the 2011. (Side note: The aforementioned 2005 knee injury —was that brutal low hit from Kimo von Oelhoffen in their playoff game against the Steelers. How many people knew that Palmer played 16 games the next year? I had always remembered that he sat out the next season.)
Charles Rogers was taken second overall by the Detroit Lions. He a total of 36 career receptions. He was cut by the team and was out of football after the 2005 season.
Terence Newman was selected fifth overall by the Cowboys and started for the team through the 2011 season. He spent the 2012 season with the Bengals.
Terrell Suggs was drafted tenth overall by the Baltimore Ravens. He was the 2011 NFL Defensive Player of Year. He remains with team.