The 2003 draft was an attempt to fill holes to an already talent-laden offense. Before Marvin Lewis, the offense had Rudi Johnson sitting behind Corey Dillon. Chad Johnson had just come off his first 1,000-yard season. T.J. Houshmandzadeh was merely a kick returner. While not superstars yet, they were on the team waiting for the opportunity that would later appear. The offensive line had Rich Braham, Levi Jones and Willie Anderson already. Fullback Lorenzo Neal left the graveyard of Cincinnati (2-14 in 2002) for another graveyard, at the time, in San Diego (4-12 in 2003).
In retrospect, the 2003 draft wasn't like 2004 when the team did a great job building the depth. It wasn't like 2001 where a majority of the team's superstars (Rudi, Chad, T.J.) were picked up. This draft will always be remembered in Cincinnati lore for the year Carson Palmer was drafted to lead the Bengals to their first winning season and playoff appearance since Adam and Eve roamed Earth.
This was the year we learned that only Kelly Washington could out-do Chad Johnson's touchdown celebrations. (yes, another excuse for the Squirrel)
This was the year we were introduced to a young man named Dennis Weathersby who taught us about bad luck. This was the year we drafted a great guard who would later do the unforgivable; defect to the team up north.
This draft found gold with Carson Palmer, Eric Steinbach and Jeremi Johnson. It also found a serviceable backup lineman in Scott Kooistra. Kelly Washington and Khalid Abdullah were disappointments.
|1/1/1||Carson Palmer||Still on team. He's been... O.K., I suppose.|
|2/2/33||Eric Steinbach||Not on team. After a couple Pro Bowl alternate seasons, Steinbach decided to stick it to the Bengals signing with that other Ohio team.|
|3/3/65||Kelly Washington||Not on team. Talented receiver that never could challenge for playing time. Great touchdown dancer is about all he'll be known for as a Bengal.|
|4/4/98||Dennis Weathersby||Not on team. Sad sorry of luck gone terribly wrong.|
|5/4/118||Jeremi Johnson||Still on team. Great fullback and receiver in the flats.|
|6/5/136||Khalid Abdullah||Not on team. Only utilized as a special teams player, Abdullah was cut by the Bengals and found a home in the CFL.|
|7/6/174||Langston Moore||Not on team. Moore started eight games in 2004 when Tony Williams went down. He was let go after that season and has since joined the Cardinals and Lions.|
|8/7/215||Scott Kooistra||Still on team. Kooistra has plenty of playing time under his belt -- mostly on special teams and TE during "big" formations. Has played plenty during mop-up periods of blowouts.|
|9/7/215||Elton Patterson||Not on team. Patterson joined Jacksonville in 2005 and played 2006 on IR.|