It was considered one of the deepest top 10 classes in recent memory, and time has proven that notion to be correct. Cleveland had a bevy of options at that point, but ultimately, chose the ultra-athletic Kellen Winslow Jr., a tight end from Miami, and son of Hall of Fame tight end Kellen Winslow.
Meanwhile, a young Ben Roethlisberger seethed. Already having been snubbed from the first overall pick and the subsequent trade that would send top pick Eli Manning and fourth pick Phillip Rivers to New York and San Diego respectively, it meant Roethlisberger was the odd quarterback out of the top 10.
He fell all the way to 11th, where the Steelers were drafting at their highest spot since 2000 and the second-highest position in two decades.
The Steelers wasted little time in picking Roethlisberger, who did not smile upon lifting his Steelers jersey for the cameras. It wasn't that he wasn't pleased to be playing for the Steelers, it was the early rage of not being taken higher. Such things drive a supremely competitive player.
Roethlisberger would later say he felt Cleveland was going to take him. He grew up two hours outside Cleveland, and around plenty of Browns fans.
Since then, the Steelers are 15-2 against the Browns, with Roethlisberger only having played in one of those losses. Cleveland hasn't qualified for the playoffs while Roethlisberger's Steelers have won two Super Bowls.
Recently, Steelers 2013 first round pick Jarvis Jones spoke with ESPN Cleveland's Tony Grossi. Jones felt the Browns were going to select him with the sixth overall pick, but Cleveland, now operating under general manager Mike Lombardi and team president Joe Banner, went with LSU's Barkevious Mingo.
I sense a trend here.
Writes Grossi, "Jones said the Browns told him they wanted him. But concerns about a stenosis problem persisted, despite positive medical checks at the combine, and Jones' poor pre-draft workouts caused him to fall to the Steelers at the No. 17 pick."
This could just as easily mean the Browns would have looked at Jones later in the first round or even in the second, as few would have put Jones at No. 6 overall. But if it's the motivation Jones needs to be the hunter and not the hunted, then so be it.
It worked well for Roethlisberger.