Five Trojans Selected In 2003 NFL Draft, Including No. 1 Carson Palmer

April 28, 2003

LOS ANGELES--Five USC football players were selected in the just-concluded 2003 NFL draft, including No. 1 pick Carson Palmer

Palmer, who was chosen by the Cincinnati Bengals, became USC's fifth No. 1 pick, joining Ron Yary (1968), O.J. Simpson (1969), Ricky Bell (1977) and Keyshawn Johnson (1996). USC is tied with Notre Dame for most No. 1 selections. Palmer is USC's first quarterback drafted since 1996 (Kyle Wachholtz) and the first Trojan quarterback chosen in the first round since 1991 (Todd Marinovich).

Troy Polamalu was USC's other first rounder, selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 16th pick. The 2-time All-American became USC's first safety chosen in the first round since 1990 (Mark Carrier).

With Palmer and Polamalu going in the first round, USC continued to have the most first rounders (62) of any school.

Tailback Justin Fargas was a third round pick by the Oakland Raiders. It's the highest a Trojan running back has been selected since 1991 (Ricky Ervins, also third round).

Wide receiver Kareem Kelly, USC's career receptions leader, was drafted in the sixth round by the New Orleans Saints, while tailback Malaefou MacKenzie was a seventh round choice by the Jacksonville Jaguars. The last time USC had at least 2 running backs drafted was 1992 (Scott Lockwood, Raoul Spears, Mazio Royster).

Seven other Trojans were free agents: tailback Sultan McCullough (Washington Redskins), offensive guard Zach Wilson (Detroit Lions), safety DeShaun Hill (New York Jets), cornerback Darrell Rideaux (Indianapolis Colts), defensive tackle Bernard Riley (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), wide receiver Grant Mattos (San Diego Chargers) and fullback Chad Pierson (Oakland Raiders).

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