It’s not a great day to be a Tennessee Titans fan

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.

First round, 2005 NFL Draft
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.

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