Packers coaches did not want to draft Aaron Rodgers
The Green Bay Packers’ decision to draft Aaron Rodgers with the No. 24 overall pick in the 2005 draft is one of the most important moves that shaped the NFL’s history over the past 15 years. The pick of Rodgers added a complicated element to the end of Brett Favre’s career and helped set the Packers up for more than a decade of winning, including a Super Bowl.
The story of how the pick went down is incredibly fascinating, and was shared by former Packers executive Andrew Brandt during an interview on “The Ask Gary Vee Show.”
According to Brandt, the Packers only had first-round grades on about 20 players that year. By the time their No. 24 pick came up, there was only one remaining player available for whom they had a first-round grade: Aaron Rodgers.
Brandt told Vee that the Packers’ coaching staff was begging them not to take Rodgers. The coaches felt they already had a quarterback on the roster in Brett Favre and badly wanted a player who would help them win now rather than take a guy who would be sitting on the bench. They wanted to stretch for a guy they had a second-round grade for.
The Packers were so unconvinced about taking Rodgers that they waited most of the 15 minutes they had before needing to make a selection to see if another team would come through with a trade offer. After getting no trade calls, they finally took Rodgers.
And guess what happened? Brandt says they could hear fans at the draft party in Lambeau Field booing the pick. On top of that, they got a phone call from Favre’s agent Bus Cook immediately asking them what the heck was going on.
The Rodgers pick led to an uncomfortable situation in Green Bay for three years before the Packers decided to finally move forward and turn things over to Rodgers for the 2008 season.
You can understand why things were so uncomfortable those first few years for the Packers, which also led to Favre slighting Rodgers at times. Time does help people forgive and forget, and the two quarterbacks have finally made amends.
As far as the pick, the Packers executives sticking to their draft board and going through with the Rodgers pick was the best thing they could have done. They got a Hall of Fame quarterback to follow a Hall of Fame quarterback, which is almost unprecedented.
You can listen/watch the story here, just beware of some curse words from Vee.
H/T Evan Silva