There were 49 defensive backs selected, the most frequently-selected position, six in the first round. USC quarterback Carson Palmer was selected first overall by the Cincinnati Bengals. It was the third time in the common draft era (dating to 1967) that the Bengals made the No. 1 overall selection.
None of the players drafted were All-Pro selections as rookies. Second round pick Anquan Boldin (WR, Cardinals) was named Offensive Rookie of the Year, while No. 10 overall pick Terrell Suggs (LB, Ravens) earned Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. The Vikings had the No. 7 overall pick but didn't make their pick in the allotted time. The Jaguars and Panthers were able to get their picks in before the Vikings finally made their selection.