It's probably a great day to be a Green Bay Packers fan. Today, Packers fans are enjoying a Super Bowl appearance and anticipating the celebration of another Lombardi Trophy. Packers fans can also rejoice in having one of the best quarterbacks in the league, one who could be the best in just a few years.
It's not such a great day to be a Tennessee Titans fan. We aren't enjoying another Super Bowl and we don't have a quarterback, let alone one of the best in the league.
When I watch the Super Bowl tonight, I will be reminded time and again that the Titans passed on Aaron Rodgers in the 2005 draft, knowing they could afford to keep Steve McNair for only one more season, that his pending $50 million option would be unaffordable.
I understand the Titans' rationale at the time, for drafting someone who could contribute right away, allowing the Titans to wait one more year to draft the new quarterback of the future. Looking back in hindsight, however, Rodgers would have been the best choice the Titans could have made for the long haul.
Passing on Rodgers was actually a double gutshot for the Titans. Because they didn't take Rodgers in 2005, they were forced to take a quarterback in 2006 instead of someone like A.J. Hawk or Haloti Ngata.
Tennessee wasn't the only team that would regret passing on Rodgers, who fell all the way to the 24th player drafted after speculation he would be the first overall pick. The following table shows the players selected in the first round and the quarterbacks who would lead those teams in 2005.
|Pos||Team||Player selected||2005 Quarterback|
|1||49ers||Alex Smith||Alex Smith|
|2||Dolphins||Ronnie Brown||Gus Frerotte|
|3||Browns||Braylon Edwards||Trent Dilfer|
|4||Bears||Cedric Benson||Kyle Orton|
|5||Bucs||Cadillac Williams||Chris Simms|
|6||Titans||Pacman Jones||Steve McNair|
|7||Vikings||Troy Williamson||Brad Johnson|
|8||Cardinals||Antrel Rolle||Kurt Warner|
|9||Redskins||Carlos Rogers||Mark Brunell|
|10||Lions||Mike Williams||Joey Harrington|
|11||Cowboys||DeMarcus Ware||Drew Bledsoe|
|12||Chargers||Shawne Merriman||Drew Brees|
|13||Saints||Jammal Brown||Aaron Brooks|
|14||Panthers||Thomas Davis||Jake Delhomme|
|15||Chiefs||Derrick Thomas||Trent Green|
|16||Texans||Travis Johnson||David Carr|
|17||Bengals||David Pollack||Carson Palmer|
|18||Vikings||Erasmus James||Brad Johnson|
|19||Rams||Alex Barron||Marc Bulger|
|20||Cowboys||Marcus Spears||Drew Bledsoe|
|21||Jaguars||Matt Jones||Byron Leftwich|
|22||Ravens||Mark Clayton||Kyle Boller|
|23||Raiders||Fabian Washington||Kerry Collins|
|24||Packers||Aaron Rodgers||Brett Favre|
|25||Redskins||Jason Campbell||Mark Brunell|
|26||Seahawks||Chris Spencer||Matt Hasselbeck|
|27||Falcons||Roddy White||Michael Vick|
|28||Chargers||Luis Castillo||Drew Brees|
|29||Colts||Marlin Jackson||Peyton Manning|
|30||Steelers||Heath Miller||Ben Roethlisberger|
|31||Eagles||Mike Patterson||Donovan McNabb|
|32||Patriots||Logan Mankins||Tom Brady|
As much as we regret not having Rodgers, as do quite a few other teams, there's one team that has to regret it the most. The Minnesota Vikings passed on Rodgers twice, with picks #7 and 18. The Vikes opted instead for WR Troy Williamson and DE Erasmus James. I guess they didn't feel that quarterback was a position of need, because they had the great Brad Johnson.
Here's the real kicker that rubs salt in the wound. Not only didn't the Vikes get Rodgers, they now have to face him twice a year in their own division.
I'll bet it's not a good day to be a Vikings fan either.