Sunday, March 20, 2005

2005 NFL Draft: Rodgers or Smith?

Unlike last year's draft that featured can't miss prospects at quarterback- Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Phillip Rivers, this year's class features no such player. There are many solid prospects and appears Cal's Aaron Rodgers and Utah's Alex Smith to be at the top of that list. Both had tremendous junior seasons in 2004 and left school while their draft stock was at its peak. Both received a major boost when USC's Matt Leinart chose to return for his senior season and a shot at a second Heisman and third consecutive national championship. Now the 49ers face the unenviable task of choosing one of two solid but not spectacular prospects. Both have their drawbacks. For Rodgers it is his height (6-2) and being another "Tedford QB". Four other quarterbacks sent to the NFL by Tedford (Trent Dilfer at Fresno State, Akili Smith and Joey Harrington at Oregon and Kyle Boller at Cal) have thus far in their careers been marginal at best. Meanwhile Smith has some even larger question marks. He has marginal arm strength, performed against weaker competition and played in Urban Meyer's shotgun spread offense.

My selection would be Aaron Rodgers. Smith is a nice QB and was part of something special at Utah but he was also a player that during the season was projected as a 4th round pick- at best. Something is fishy about a guy who go from being a Day Two pick to the #1 overall pick in the draft. Rodgers performed very well in the tough games and almost single-handedly beat USC at the LA Coliseum. His arm strength is terrific and he makes and completes passes that Smith will never be able to make. While Tedford has been somewhat of a failure in developing quarterbacks into NFL talent, Smith appears to me as a player waiting to be labeled as a draft bust. In Rodgers I see a legitimate NFL QB, in Smith I see the second coming of David Klinger. The one thing for sure is that San Francisco will hear out any offers for the first round pick before making a final decision, one that could change the organization for years to come.


Anonymous Lonnie Klamm said...

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Tuesday, December 20, 2005  

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