NFL San Francisco 49ers: What If They Had Selected Aaron Rodgers? | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors | Bleacher Report

    the 2005 nfl draft had two quarterbacks competing to be the number one overall pick.

    alex smith was a very successful high school quarterback in san diego with teammate reggie bush winning championships. he came out of utah under coach urban meyer’s extended offense system.

    smith posted a 21-1 record in his college career. he had a 3.74 gpa and was in a master’s program before entering the draft. he was definitely a smart boy. He finished fourth in heisman voting his senior year and led the Utes to two bowl wins in his college career. Smith was athletic and precise coming out of college with a high IQ.

    aaron rodger was not a high profile recruit coming out of his senior year in high school with his diminutive 5’10” stature and 165lbs. he received no division one scholarship offers and took his talents to the butte junior college led butte to a 10-1 record and actually beat my college for the norcal conference championship he was playing safety at the time and rodgers was definitely hard to contain. /p>

    i saw a lot of talent in rodgers when i played against him and boy could he run. After a year, Rodger received a scholarship to Cal Berkley and grew to 6’2″. He had two solid years at Cal where he led the fourth-ranked Bears to the Holiday Bowl. He opted to forgo his senior year and enter the draft.

    both quarterbacks were very athletic, but rodgers had the stronger, more accurate arm. Smith had the experience and success that many teams loved.

    Many teams and experts had Rodgers ranked higher than Smith at quarterback, but the position was not a necessity for most teams except the 49ers.

    so why did the 49ers finally decide on smith instead of rodgers?

    rodgers was a kid from northern california whose game was reminiscent of joe montana. Smith was coming off a stretched offense that hadn’t translated very well in the NFL.

    the 49ers were completely rebuilding the roster in 2005 and hired new coach mike nolan. Nolan was a sensible guy who hated to be challenged. When he interviewed both players, Rodgers had a certain attitude and arrogance towards him that Nolan just hated. no matter what the difference in talent, nolan knew his boy was smith.

    so on draft day, it was easy for the 49ers to select alex smith, and we all saw one of the worst free falls of the draft when aaron rodgers fell to the green bay packers in 24.

    The two stories took a different route when they entered the league. Rodgers was drafted by a team that had a legend in Brett Favre, and he might never see the field. Smith, on the other hand, had to jump right into a team that had no quarterback and no identity.

    everything on the 49ers was new and under reconstruction, which is a bad sign for a young quarterback. Coming from a spread offense, the NFL schemes were too difficult for Smith from the start. he needed to sit down and learn, but the 49ers invested too much money in the kid for him to sit down, so smith got into trouble.

    rodgers sat down and learned from one of the best quarterbacks to play on a veteran-laden team. when he finally played his first two games, he was ready and destined for stardom.

    what if the 49ers had drafted aaron rodgers number one overall?

    rodgers already had less experience than smith, but his talent was undeniable. Rodgers is also one of the most mobile quarterbacks in the league, which would have helped him when he broke his pocket just like we saw on Cam Newton in the early games.

    smith was a regular at taking hits and being surprised. he doesn’t have a presence in the pocket, which could be the fault of the extended offense where everything is a quick pass. Smith also had horrible footwork when he was in the pocket. his drops were robotic and he never felt pressure around him.

    People say Alex Smith was affected because he’s had six offensive coordinators in six years, and that might be true, but I think if Rodgers was in the same situation, he would have figured it all out by year three.

    The arrogance or attitude that coach nolan feared in rodgers would have helped him with sticky situations in the early years. His classmates would have trusted him and respected him because they saw that trust in his eyes.

    although smith received his master’s degree and experts said he was very smart with books and school, rodgers was smart with everything that had to do with football. he is able to dissect a defense and take it down in seconds. Watching the video from when Rodgers was in Cal, you can see that Rodgers was comfortable changing the play at the line of scrimmage and reading defenses. Smith, on the other hand, couldn’t change the play at the line of scrimmage as the offense had to move at a fast pace.

    alex smith was very talented, but he didn’t have enough confidence or intelligence to succeed in this league. his body was that of a starting quarterback, but his mind and heart are those of a backup.

    I’m not saying the san francisco 49ers would have won a super bowl with aaron rodgers, but I do know the 49ers would have been a much better playoff team.

    if rodgers were on the 49ers, pundits would pick the 49ers as a super bowl contender for this year, but instead they are regulated to be a possible division winner.

    During Smith’s first six seasons, the 49ers hadn’t made the playoffs and remain without an identity. Smith will likely be benched for the rest of his career if the 49ers don’t succeed this year.

    Rodgers’ level of play would have been elite, just as it is with the Packers, even if the 49ers had drafted him and taken the exact same path as Smith.

    I know this is very hard to break down as we’ve seen the results seven years later, but what’s your take on this?

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