NFL News of April 9, 2004

The Denver Broncos traded disgruntled cornerback and former first-round pick Deltha O’Neal on Friday to the Cincinnati Bengals, and managed to move up seven spots in the first round of this month’s NFL draft.

The Broncos moved up from the 24th spot to 17th in the first round, swapping spots with Bengals. In addition to O’Neal, the Broncos sent their fourth-round draft choice (117th overall) to the Bengals. The NFL draft is April 24-25.

Since coach Mike Shanahan took over supervision of the draft in 1995, the Broncos have never traded to move up in the first round. Moving up this year gives them a better chance to get a player who can immediately fill one of their pressing needs.

By moving up, the Broncos leaped ahead of New England and Dallas, two teams that could be interested in selecting a running back in the first round. The Broncos have a need at running back after trading Clinton Portis to Washington, but also have holes to fill at outside linebacker, wide receiver and defensive tackle, and tight end if Shannon Sharpe retires.

—Frank Schwab, The Colorado Springs Gazette “Broncos fly Deltha to Bengals

With the 17th pick in the 2004 draft, the Broncos selected D.J. Williams, a linebacker who played with the team until he was released after the 2012 season. The Bengals swapped the 24th pick to the Rams for the 26th pick and other considerations. The Rams took RB Steven Jackson with the 24th pick; the Bengals used the 26th pick on RB Chris Perry who played for the team until being released after the 2008 season.

Deltha O’Neal spent the 2004 – 2007 seasons with the Bengals, making the Pro Bowl in 2005. He spent the 2008 season with the Patriots and has been out of the NFL since.

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