Aaron Rodgers was easily the best player to come out of the 2005 NFL Draft. However, he was not the first player selected. Or the second. Or the third, fourth, or fifth. He wasn’t even the first quarterback.
With the top pick that year, the San Francisco 49ers went with Alex Smith. Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers just sat there looking sad as team after team passed up the best quarterback of his generation, until, finally, the Green Bay Packers took Rodgers with the 24th overall pick.
Why did so many teams pass on Rodgers? There were a handful of reasons. There were doubts about his size, as there always are with quarterbacks who aren’t 6’4″. But money was also an issue. At the time there was no rookie salary cap, so teams that were already paying big bucks to their current quarterbacks were nervous about having to pay big bucks for a backup as well.
The biggest problem for Aaron Rodgers, however, were the absolutely asinine pre-draft scouting reports.
Check out this take from one anonymous NFL scout, via jsonline.com:
“I think he has a good chance of being a bust. Just like every other Tedford-coached quarterback. Thing I struggle with him is he gets sacked a lot. He doesn’t have great ability to change the release of the football. He’s mechanically very rigid. Brett Favre can change his release point and find different windows. There will be more growing pains with Alex Smith but in the end he has a much better chance to be much better.”
Alex Smith is a very good quarterback, but he is no Aaron Rodgers. But let’s see what another anonymous scout had to say:
“The guys that Tedford has had, what have they developed into? They’re too well-schooled. So mechanical. So robotic. I don’t know if they become good pro players. I think Rodgers is in that same mold.”
Yeah, Aaron Rodgers, so robotically awesome. But here’s the best—and by best I mean worst—scouting report:
“I don’t like him. He’s a clone of Harrington and Boller. They all throw the same way. What have those guys done? Nothing. If you take him in the second round, fine. Heady guy. They do a marvelous job of coaching quarterbacks there. I don’t think he’s as good as the top quarterbacks coming out last year.”
LOLOLOL. I think even Kyle Boller knows Aaron Rodgers is no Kyle Boller. But hey, hindsight is 20/20.
If you’ve got time, check out this short documentary below on Aaron Rodgers’ free fall at the 2005 NFL Draft. It’s pretty great.
Hat Tip – [For the Win]