Against 49ers, Packers fans hope Rodgers proves draft-day point

The Green Bay Packers' playoff matchup with the 49ers on Saturday, Jan. 22 is also a chance for Aaron Rodgers to deliver on a draft-day promise made nearly two decades ago. Remember, experts thought San Francisco would take him No. 1 overall. Instead, he landed in Green Bay.

Rodgers was asked if he was disappointed the 49ers didn't take him, being a Bay Area kid. His response was: "Not as disappointed as the 49ers will be that they didn't draft me." Come Saturday, fans hope Rodgers proves his point.

Alone at a table in the green room, the wait to hear his name called at the 2005 NFL Draft wasn't just a surprise for Aaron Rodgers.

NEW YORK - APRIL 23: (L-R) Alex Smith (Utah), Antrel Rolle (Miami), Aaron Rodgers (California), Braylon Edwards (Michigan),Ronnie Brown (Auburn) and Cedric Benson (Texas) pose during the 70th NFL Draft on April 23, 2005 at the Jacob K. Javits Convent

"We certainly, like everyone, thought either the 49ers would select Aaron or Alex Smith," said Andrew Brandt, former Packers VP of player finance. "They selected Alex Smith, but we didn't expect that Aaron would drop."

Instead, Rodgers walked across the stage with a Green Bay Packers cap, paying a visit to Lambeau Field just days later. It was a controversial pick at the time, as Brandt remembers. He was there for the decision.

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NEW YORK - APRIL 23: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers (California), drafted 24th overall by the Green Bay Packers, poses with family and friends during the 70th NFL Draft on April 23, 2005 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. (Photo by

"If we make this pick, coaches are gonna be mad," said Brandt. "Brett's gonna be mad. Brett's agent's gonna be mad. Fans are gonna be mad, but at the end of the day, we should probably do it."

The pick still has Green Bay fans talking nearly two decades later.

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At the Green and Gold Zone in West Allis Thursday, Jan. 20, fans like Dylan Deich said they hope Rodgers will use that slight as motivation Saturday and ring up the Niners like the Packers gear flying off the shelves.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - JANUARY 09: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers warms up before the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on January 09, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

"I mean, he hasn't done it in the playoffs to them to this point," said Deich. "It's been pretty ugly in past matchups with them. I think he's done it in the regular season, but this is kind of maybe his last chance to do so, especially in Green Bay. I think they win. I don't think the Niners have the pass defense to stop Rodgers and Adams. I think that'll go really well." 

With Rodgers at QB, the Packers are 0-3 against the 49ers in the playoffs.

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