Defensive End - Dewayne White
Tampa Bay Buccaneers first overall pick.
The draft was held April 26–27, 2003 at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. The league also held a supplemental draft after the regular draft and before the regular season.
The draft was broadcast on ESPN and ESPN2 beginning at noon on Saturday, April 26 and beginning at 11:00 am on Sunday, April 27. The draft consisted of seven rounds, with teams selecting in the reverse order of the finish the previous season. There were 32 compensatory picks distributed among 15 teams, with five teams each receiving four additional selections. In addition, the Houston Texans, who started play as an expansion franchise the previous season, were granted a supplemental selection in the middle of each of the draft's final five rounds, plus the final selection in the final two rounds.
There was little drama when the draft began with the Cincinnati Bengals selecting Carson Palmer, as Palmer had agreed to contract terms with the Bengals the previous day. He became the first Heisman Trophy winner selected first overall in the draft since Vinny Testaverde in 1987. The event ended nearly 30 hours later with Ryan Hoag being chosen by the Oakland Raiders with the final pick and thus gaining the distinction of "Mr. Irrelevant".
The draft took an odd turn with the Minnesota Vikings' pick in the first round. The Vikings were apparently attempting to consummate a trade when their fifteen-minute time allowance elapsed. The Jaguars who selected next were quick to pounce, turning in their card to select QB Byron Leftwich immediately after the Vikings' time elapsed. The Panthers also took advantage of the gaffe, selecting OT Jordan Gross before the Vikings recovered and selected DT Kevin Williams. Nevertheless, the mistake may have worked in the Vikings' favor as Williams went on to be a mainstay in their team, missing only four games in his first 10 seasons in the NFL and making six Pro Bowls.
The colleges with the most players selected in the draft were Florida, Miami and Tennessee which each had eight players chosen. Meanwhile, Penn State and Miami each had four student-athletes selected in the first round. Eleven defensive linemen were selected in round one, eclipsing the previous record of nine, set in 2001. Ten underclassmen were taken in the first round, including three of the first four overall selections. The first round lasted nearly five hours. The Buffalo Bills selection of Miami's Willis McGahee as the first running back off the board was notable because he was recovering from a career-threatening injury he suffered in the Fiesta Bowl which it was believed could have caused him to miss the upcoming season.
As the 2002 SuperBowl champions the Buccaneers selected last in each round. The first round pick was the next installment in the Jon Gruden trade. The 7th rounder went to Miami for Cornell Green but they gained an additional fourth rounder as a compensatory pick.
Click Any Year Here To Review The Entire NFL Draft & Notable Undrafted Players
|C||Center||CB||Cornerback||DB||Defensive back||DE||Defensive end|
|DL||Defensive lineman||DT||Defensive tackle||FB||Fullback||FS||Free safety|
|LB||Linebacker||LS||Long snapper||OT||Offensive Tackle||OL||Offensive lineman|
|NT||Nose tackle||P||Punter||PR||Punt returner||QB||Quarterback|
|RB||Running back||S||Safety||SS||Strong safety||TB||Tailback|
|TE||Tight end||WR||Wide receiver|
Notable Undrafted Players
Hall of Famers
- No player selected in this draft has yet been inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame.