Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett, projected by some to go in the first round, instead was chosen 10th in the third round by New England, where he can serve an apprenticeship under Tom Brady. Off-field issues clouded Mallett's career at Arkansas after he transferred from Michigan.
Brady is entrenched as the starter and the Patriots also have a promising backup in Brian Hoyer. Third-stringer Jonathan Crompton, a 2010 fifth-round draft choice of the Chargers, filled out the third spot on the depth chart entering the draft.
From a football standpoint, Hoyer's contract expires after the 2011 season and if he plays well in the preseason, he could draw Kevin Kolb-type interest around the NFL.
Cincinnati took A.J. Green from Georgia with the fourth overall pick in the opening round, bringing in a receiver who can take over for Chad Ochocinco, the franchise's all-time leading pass catcher. One round later, they brought in a new quarterback.
"That was good," coach Marvin Lewis said. "We spent a lot of time on this, no question. It's a big, important, important pick, important piece."
Dalton quickly will get the chance to become the next face of one of the NFL's most dysfunctional franchises. The Bengals have only two winning records in the last 20 years, going through quarterbacks at a pell-mell pace while continuing to lose regularly.
"He's going to be a great quarterback in this league, in my opinion," new offensive coordinator Jay Gruden said. "He's going to get a lot of opportunity to do that, come in here and compete for the job right away. What else do you want as a rookie quarterback?
"That's what I asked him at the [scouting] combine. I said, 'Are you wanting to come in here and be a backup quarterback somewhere and learn for three years, or are you ready to start in six months?' He said, 'I'm ready to start right now, let's go.'"
The San Francisco 49ers traded up in the second round Friday night to take Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick with the 36th overall pick. They gave Denver their second-round (45th overall), third-round (108th) and fifth-round (141st) picks to move up.
Kaepernick was watching the draft with his family in Turlock, Calif., about a two-hour drive from the 49ers' practice facility in Santa Clara. He was so excited he was contemplating making the drive immediately -- even though he might be turned away when he gets there.
"That just makes it that much easier for my family, friends to come and see me," Kaepernick said. "I know everybody in Reno was hoping I went to the 49ers as well. For me, it was the perfect pick."
The trade was the first major move under new coach Jim Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke, and it wasn't even the first to secure a quarterback Friday. Alex Smith was at the team's facility working out and scheduled to meet with Harbaugh.
Harbaugh has made it known he would like the team to reunite with the 2005 No. 1 overall pick, perhaps allowing Kaepernick the time needed to develop into an NFL quarterback.
The freefall of Clemson's Da'Quan Bowers, at one point considered a top-five pick before undergoing right knee surgery, ended Friday when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected the standout defensive end with the 19th pick in the second round.
"The last 24 hours have been crazy long," said Bowers, who assured the Buccaneers his knee was fine. "It's been grueling just waiting for that one phone call. I didn't expect the wait to be this long. I was expecting to go off the board in the first round."
Boise State wide receiver Titus Young was selected by the Detroit Lions with the 44th overall pick.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick pulled a surprise to begin the round: He stood still.
Given their willingness to trade down every year, the Patriots heard from several teams interested in that slot before taking Virginia cornerback Ras-I Dowling. Hall of Fame linebacker Andre Tippett announced the pick.
Dowling is a hard hitter who missed most of last season with a broken left ankle, starting only two games. The Patriots made out well with last year's first-round pick, cornerback Devin McCourty, and weren't afraid to go back to the secondary again.
New England did strike a deal with the Oakland Raiders. The Patriots shipped third and fourth round picks to Oakland for the Raiders' seventh-round pick and a 2012 second-round pick.
The Arizona Cardinals took Virginia Tech running back Ryan Williams with the sixth pick in the second round, while the Tennessee Titans and Dallas Cowboys went with linebackers Akeem Ayers and Bruce Carter, respectively.
The Cardinals already had Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower on their roster, but Wells has never blossomed and has been prone to injury, while the hard-running Hightower was plagued by fumbles last season.
So Arizona chose Williams, who left school with two years of eligibility remaining.
"When I went to visit, they told me I would not slip past pick No. 38," Williams said. "And I respect them 100 percent."
The 5-foot-9, 207-pound back rushed for 1,655 yards and 21 touchdowns as a freshman in 2009 but was limited by a hamstring injury last season.
The Washington Redskins made a series of four trades over the first two days of the draft, adding selections in the third, fourth and seventh rounds, plus two in the fifth -- essentially by moving down just a bit in the first.
When they were picking players -- which wasn't often -- they started with defense. Defensive end Jarvis Jenkins of Clemson was taken in the second round at No. 41 overall Friday, a day after linebacker Ryan Kerrigan of Purdue was chosen in the first at No. 16.
Then, in the third round, they added receiver Leonard Hankerson of Miami.
In between, the dealing came at a furious pace. As of late Friday, the Redskins were set to make 13 total picks, their most since their 15 selections in 1982 -- when the draft lasted 12 rounds instead of seven.
The 6-foot-3, 240-pound Kendricks set career highs with 43 receptions for 663 yards and five touchdowns as a senior, and averaged 14.7 yards per catch in college. He was the Badgers' top receiver last year with speed in the 4.6-second range, and Rams general manager Billy Devaney said the team considered trading down to make sure they got him.
"Obviously we took him, we liked him, we all liked him," coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "He gives you the flexibility of doing some different things."
The Rams addressed a larger area of need when they took Boise State wide receiver Austin Pettis in the third round. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Pettis had 134 receptions for 24 touchdowns his last two seasons, and totaled 39 touchdowns in college.
Twelve players from the Atlantic Coast Conference went in the second round.
Information from ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss and The Associated Press was used in this report.