Since the NFL Draft happened more than a decade ago, we’ve seen some of the best players in NFL history. The 2005 draft class is no exception to this rule, with five names that are among the best ever selected before Aaron Rodgers was picked first overall. Who came out on top for you?
In 2005, the Green Bay Packers selected Aaron Rodgers in the first round of the NFL Draft. The next 5 players drafted were all before him. Read more in detail here: aaron rodgers draft year.
Despite a lot of buzz leading up to the 2005 NFL Draft, top quarterback prospect Aaron Rodgers was selected 24th overall. What happened to the Green Bay Packers should still be a source of concern for many other clubs.
We’re talking about your team, Cleveland Browns supporters.
Despite his scandals and controversy, Rodgers has cemented his reputation as one of the finest quarterbacks in NFL history. Before he puts up his cleats, he’ll have won at least one Super Bowl ring and should have a chance to win another.
Despite the fact that many of the players chosen before Rodgers were either busts or disappointed, several of them went on to have successful careers in their own right. Let’s take a look back at the finest of those guys almost 15 years later.
Only on-field accomplishments and stats are used to rank players on this list. Off-field concerns were not taken into account, and those recruited after Rodgers are not eligible. The greatest players are ranked as follows, taking into account the aforementioned prerequisites:
DB Antrel Rolle, No. 5 (Overall, No. 8)
From 2005 through 2015, former New York Giants safety Antrel Rolle appeared in three Pro Bowls | Elsa/Getty Images
Former All-Pro linebacker Shawne Merriman (12th overall) and veteran Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones battled for Rolle’s position on the list (6th overall). Merriman exploded into the scene in his first three seasons, racking up 39.5 sacks and seemed destined for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. However, a slew of ailments restricted him to only six sacks over the following five seasons, and he didn’t play again after that.
Jones found a home in Cincinnati after a series of legal difficulties early in his career, and he became a key member of the Bengals’ playoff teams in the early 2010s. However, we’re going with Rolle, who has 26 interceptions and three Pro Bowl appearances in 11 seasons.
Rolle was a three-time Pro Bowler who won Super Bowl 46 with the New York Giants and played in another with the Arizona Cardinals. He’s earned the right to be here.
4. LB Thomas Davis (Overall, No. 14)
Before Luke Keuchly, the Carolina Panthers had Thomas Davis, who started off as a safety in the NFL. Davis began his second season at linebacker after switching between safety and linebacker during his first season. From 2009 through 2011, the Georgia product was restricted to nine games due to knee issues, and it looked like his career might be ended before he was 30.
Davis, on the other hand, returned in 2012, the same year Keuchly came, and never had another severe knee problem. Davis appeared in three Pro Bowls between 2012 and 2017, totaling 10 interceptions, 10 forced fumbles, 17 sacks, and 48 tackles for loss. During that period, Carolina made the playoffs four times and even reached Super Bowl 50.
Davis, the 2014 Walter Payton Man of the Year, also spent time with the Los Angeles Chargers and the Washington Football Team before joining the Panthers on a one-day deal in March 2021.
3. LB Derrick Johnson (Overall, No. 15)
The Kansas City Chiefs, as poor as they were at times during Johnson’s 13 seasons with the club, at least had the ex-Texas Longhorns great on defense. In 182 games with the Chiefs from 2005 to 2017, the four-time Pro Bowler with 1,154 tackles, 27.5 sacks, 22 forced fumbles, 14 interceptions, and four defensive touchdowns.
Johnson created a positive impact in Kansas City, and he’ll almost certainly be inducted into the Chiefs’ Ring of Honor in the coming years.
2. QB Alex Smith (No. 1 overall)
Smith seemed to be an NFL draft flop for a while, particularly when the San Francisco 49ers did not extend him following the 2010 season. New head coach Jim Harbaugh, on the other hand, gave the Utah quarterback one more shot, and Smith took advantage of it, guiding the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game in January 2012.
Smith played 102 games with the 49ers and Chiefs from 2011 to 2017, completing 65 percent of his throws for 22,458 yards, 132 touchdowns, and 43 interceptions. The three-time Pro Bowler had returned from a terrible leg injury and went 5-1 as Washington’s starting quarterback in 2020 when we last saw him.
Smith’s tale — every bit of it — is a wonderful reminder to keep battling, even if he isn’t a Hall of Famer.
1. OLB DeMarcus Ware (No. 11 overall)
Ware would have been the best player in the 2005 NFL Draft if it weren’t for Rodgers. In 12 seasons, the Troy product racked up 138.5 sacks and forced 35 fumbles, earning first-team All-Pro accolades four times. He is the Dallas Cowboys’ all-time top sacker (117) as of January 2022, and he won a Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos in February 2016.
Canton is Ware’s next trip, and that accolade might arrive as early as February 2022. Rodgers will soon join him in the historic edifice once he earns his gold jacket.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Who was the best player in the 2005 NFL draft?
A: That is a difficult question to answer. I would suggest that the best player in the 2005 NFL draft is Adrian Peterson.
Who is the greatest Packer player of all time?
A: That is a difficult question. The answer would have to be given by someone else, as that person best knows the Packer players of all time.
Where did Aaron Rodgers go to college?
A: He attended the University of California, Berkeley.
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