The Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback led USC in 2002. In his senior season, Palmer completed 309-489 passes for 3,942 yards. He threw 33 touchdown passes while being picked off just ten times.
Palmer is the third quarterback taken in the first round by the team. Akili Smith and David Klingler) failed in their attempts to lead Cincinnati back to the playoffs. Cincy last made the playoffs in 1990.
Surprisingly, of the last 38 quarterbacks taken in either the first or second round of the NFL draft, none has led his team to a Super Bowl victory.
Cincinnati's decision to draft Palmer ends months of speculation as to what the Bengals might do with their #1 pick. In addition to Palmer, the Bengals appeared to be interested in Byron Leftwich. Trading the pick was also mentioned as a possibility.
Though Palmer will be paid big money, he won't come to Cincinnati as a starter. Lewis has already given that job to holdover Jon Kitna. According to Lewis, there will be no training camp battle for the starting spot.