Bengals Sign Top Draft Pick

The Bengals tonight signed LB Keith Rivers of Southern California, their first-round choice in the 2008 draft. Rivers is to participate in his first practice at 9 a.m. tomorrow, in training camp at Georgetown (Ky.) College, and he will be available to the media after the practice.

“We are excited to have Keith with us,” said head coach Marvin Lewis. “He’s behind (having missed 12 practices due to contract negotiations), but we’ll work to get him up to speed, and we know he’s the kind of player who will get himself caught up. Right from the start, through the draft and minicamps, he has shown us things that are innate to successful NFL linebackers.”

The ninth overall pick in the draft, Rivers was a first-team 2007 All-America choice by Sports Illustrated and Pro Football Weekly. While helping lead USC to a 47-5 record during his four seasons, the 6-2, 241-pounder played all three LB positions as well as seeing brief time at DE and safety.

“I’m glad to be here with the other guys, to be officially a part of the team,” Rivers said. “Everything has gone great for me with the Bengals so far -- draft, OTAs, minicamp -- and I’m ready to pick up where I left off. I want to catch up quick on what I missed and move forward as fast as I can.”

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