The San Francisco 49ers top brass will forever reflect on the 2005 NFL draft with a tinge of regret.
Then-49ers coach Mike Nolan infamously passed on selecting Aaron Rodgers with the first overall pick, instead opting for Alex Smith from Utah.
Everyone knows how the story pans out. Smith lasts eight years in San Francisco without setting the league on fire; Rodgers, drafted 24th overall by the Green Bay Packers, goes on to become a future Hall of Fame quarterback.
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Rodgers, who won Super Bowl XLV, discussed his snub on Bill Simmons’s show ‘Any Given Wednesday’, and revealed the story he had been told about why Nolan passed on him.
And, if true, 49ers fans have even more reason to be annoyed with the former coach.
Simmons said he was told that Nolan thought the University of California product was “too cocky”, but Rodgers had heard differently.
“The story I heard, and I don’t know if it’s true or not, was that Mike Nolan said when he saw Alex open the car door for his mom, he knew that was his quarterback,” Rodgers said, per Pro Football Talk.
“I didn’t know what to say. I was at lunch with [the 49ers]. My mom wasn’t there. My dad wasn’t there.
“I laugh at stories like that because that has nothing to do with being a quarterback.”
49ers' loss was Packers' gain
San Francisco’s loss was the Packers’ gain. Rodgers has had a remarkable career and, when all is said and done, could be in the discussion for greatest quarterback of all time.
Meanwhile, the 49ers traded Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013 after leading them to just one postseason (excluding the 2012 season, in which he was replaced by Colin Kaepernick as the team’s starter).
Clearly, the 49ers didn’t do enough homework ahead of the 2005 draft.