An oldie but goodie video returned on the NFL films’ YouTube page talking about the draft of Aaron Rodgers. For those who don’t know the legend, the San Francisco 49ers drafted Alex Smith with the first overall pick. Rodgers, a huge 49ers fan, was devastated. Whether it was the right or wrong pick at that moment is debated, but while Smith has succeeded in making a career out of the NFL, it’s safe to say it hasn’t had the success that Aaron Rodgers has.
What’s interesting in this video is that as Rodgers fell, to eventually be scooped up by the Green Bay Packers at No. 24, the 49ers were actually considering taking Rodgers with their second pick. This would have left their roster with Smith and Rodgers competing for a starting spot.
Keep in mind, this is Aaron Rodgers out of college, not the Aaron Rodgers who came out after sitting behind Brett Favre for three years. The rookie Rodgers was raw, had deep ball issues and an awkward throwing stance. It took an offseason with Packers head coach Mike McCarthy to really get tooled up and a couple years with the playbook to get that familiarity.
So if this were to happen, we can assume Mike McCarthy would not be there, as he would leave following the duo’s rookie season to become the Packers’ head coach. Rodgers may have gotten a chance to start his rookie season in SF. But who would have won the competition?
Rodgers’ growth may have been stunted had this happened, as the 49ers lacked the stability to really help him develop. Plus, the two coaches before Jim Harbaugh arrives were Mike Nolan and Mike Singletary, both defensive minded coaches. And the offensive coordinators? Well Norv Turner would have been helpful, but it’s doubtful even today’s Aaron Rodgers could be productive in a Jimmy Raye offense.
A fun what-if scenario though. Who do you think would have won the starting job between Rodgers and Smith if both went to the 49ers? Where would the 49ers be today if both were on the roster after the draft?
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