Terrell Suggs is heading east to pursue a professional football career.
Suggs, who had been slotted as the Arizona Cardinals’ NFL draft pick at No. 6 overall for more than week, dropped to the No. 10 spot, where the Baltimore Ravens scooped him up quickly in a mad dash of selections.
After the Cardinals decided to trade down in a deal with New Orleans, Minnesota at No. 7 let its 15-minute selection time expire. That set off a mad rush of selections by Jacksonville, Carolina and Minnesota.
Ravens coach Brian Billick said there was no hesitation to pick Suggs once the Jaguars and Panthers had moved quickly to take Marshall quarterback Byron Leftwich and Utah offensive tackle Jordan Gross, respectively, before Minnesota could get its selection of Oklahoma State defensive tackle Kevin Williams at No. 9. Suggs was mentioned briefly as a possible top-three pick a month ago but poor running times in two separate workouts halted his rise. However, he didn't view his selection at No. 10 as a negative.
"No. I just wanted to get drafted," he told NFL.com. "I wasn't worried. If I'd dropped to the second round, I'd get worried."
That Suggs was taken among the first 10 players is an indication that NFL personnel people were unconcerned about the brawl he was involved in late last month that Phoenix police are still investigating, said his agent, Gary Wichard.
"There wasn't any concerns about the incident," Wichard said. "No one was even bringing it up. NFL teams have high-profile players who get in situations where people are trying to sandbag them. Everybody seemed to understand that was their purpose."
Suggs, one of a draft-record 11 defensive linemen taken in the first round, will be a linebacker for the Ravens, who use a 3-4 defense instead of the four-man front ASU utilized.
"It's all defense to me," Suggs said. "It's going to be interesting. I used to stand up in high school."
The Ravens have had past success turning 255-pound Florida State All-America defensive end Peter Boulware into a Pro Bowl outside linebacker. Suggs is expected to replace Mike McCrary, who'll likely retire because of a serious knee injury.
Suggs was among the top picks invited for the NFL draft show in New York City. After his participation was done, he immediately flew to Baltimore for a press conference today. He was to have dinner with Ravens front-office personnel Saturday night, Wichard said.
Suggs set an NCAA record with 24 sacks last season and finished his career with 44. Baltimore had only 33 sacks last season.
Suggs said he was surprised the Cardinals didn't take him, "but I'm still happy."
Suggs will join former ASU teammate Todd Heap, a tight end, with the Ravens. Heap, a former star at Mountain View High School, made the Pro Bowl in just his second season last fall.
Suggs, a graduate of Hamilton High School, is the fifth Sun Devil selected in the first round of the past four drafts. Only Miami (Fla.) and Florida have also had first-rounders the past four years.
EXTRA POINT: The only other state player taken on the first day was Arizona linebacker Lance Briggs, who went in the third round to Chicago.