Aaron Rodgers Has Come a Long Way Since the 2005 NFL Draft

Rachel MarcusCorrespondent IJuly 17, 2010

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 10:  Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers warms up before the 2010 NFC wild-card playoff game against the Arizona Cardinals at the Universtity of Phoenix Stadium on January 10, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Cardinals defeated the Packers  51-45 in overtime.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Do you remember the look on Aaron Rodgers' face? The look of exhaustion, desperation, and frustration?Β 

It's okay if you don't. After all, he's sure come a long way since the 2005 NFL Draft where he sat, at his table, for hours on end until the Green Bay Packers finally selected him with the 24th overall pick.

At the time, Rodgers was expected to go much higher. Coming out of Cal, he was was a quarterback that sat atop many draft boards. But instead of hearing is name called early on, he was forced to sit and watch as 23 people were taken ahead of him. People like Adam "Pacman" Jones, Troy Williamson, Mike Williams, and countless others that have failed to reach expectations.Β 

Expectations that Rodgers has far exceeded.

Only six of those 23 players selected before him have made a Pro Bowl in the five years since the draft, and it can be argued that Rodgers is better than them all.

But enough about Rodger's snub. Who really cares anymore? What matters is where he is now.Β 

And right now, he sits awfully close to the top of the football pyramid.

Gracing the cover of the current issue of ESPN, Rodgers is hailed as the "People's Choice." And why not?

He plays for Green Bay, which has some of the most loyal fans you can find out there. And aside from Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and Drew Brees, Rodgers could be the top quarterback in the league. ESPN even ranks him over that trio in their latest fantasy rankings.

Of course, Rodgers' game is not without flaws. He still gets sacked quite often and has yet to win big in the playoffs, but give him time. He's only been in the league for five years. And many of those years were spent on the bench watching Brett Favre.

And even when Favre left, people still doubted the Packers.

Could Rodgers keep the team firing on all cylinders?

People were unsure.

Not anymore. After leading the Pack to an 11-5 record, Rodgers has shown that he belongs in the conversation of top-tier quarterbacks in the NFL.

But even if people still doubt him, I'm sure he can wait until he is universally accepted. After all, he did wait in the green room for all those hours way back in the 2005 Draft.

And since then, things have worked out pretty well.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.