QB Aaron Rodgers, Rd. 1 in 2005
Had I included round 1 choices, Aaron Rodgers is hands-down the best player drafted by Ted Thompson. None of his other first rounders even come close, the next in line being Bryan Bulaga and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Rodgers’ honors include: six Pro Bowl and three All-Pro designations, two NFL MVPs, AP Athlete of the Year in 2011 and Super Bowl XLV MVP. A starter for nine years, the 33-year-old should have many more great years to come. From the perspective of Ted Thompson and his scouting team, however, the choice was a no-brainer. In 2005, the experts considered the number one overall choice to be a coin flip between Alex Smith and Rodgers. NFL followers will forever wonder why, after the 49ers went with Smith, 22 NFL teams passed on Rodgers before the Packers got him, gift-wrapped, with the 24th overall pick.