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WHERE ARE THEY NOW: The 23 players selected ahead of Aaron Rodgers in the 2005 NFL Draft

WHERE ARE THEY NOW: The 23 players selected ahead of Aaron Rodgers in the 2005 NFL Draft
  • 16 years into his NFL career, Aaron Rodgers is as dominant as ever.
  • After throwing 48 touchdowns and just five interceptions in the 2020 season, Rodgers is on the cusp of his third NFL MVP award.
  • But back in 2005, Rodgers fell all the way to the Packers with the 24th overall pick of the NFL Draft.
  • Take a look below at the 23 players taken ahead of the greatest quarterback of his generation.

Aaron Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game.

Now 16 years into his NFL career, Rodgers has been one of the most dominant players of his generation, but back in 2005, Rodgers had to wait quite a bit to hear his name called.

At the 2005 NFL Draft, Rodgers somehow fell to the Packers as the 24th overall pick. Looking back, it's clear that every team that passed on him made a huge mistake, one that Rodgers has been reminding them of with every brilliant start he's made.

Take a look below at the 23 players who were taken before Rodgers back in 2005.

Alex Smith was picked No. 1 overall by the San Francisco 49ers.

Alex Smith was picked No. 1 overall by the San Francisco 49ers.
REUTERS/Jeff Christensen RFS/HB
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Smith played for eight seasons in San Francisco before heading to Kansas City, where he was the starter until the emergence of Patrick Mahomes. Smith then went to Washington, where a scary leg injury nearly ended his career before making a comeback in the 2020 season.

Smith played for eight seasons in San Francisco before heading to Kansas City, where he was the starter until the emergence of Patrick Mahomes. Smith then went to Washington, where a scary leg injury nearly ended his career before making a comeback in the 2020 season.
AP Photo/Derik Hamilton
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Ronnie Brown was picked No. 2 overall by the Miami Dolphins.

Ronnie Brown was picked No. 2 overall by the Miami Dolphins.
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Brown spent six seasons with the Dolphins before bouncing between the Chargers, Eagles, and Texans through the final years of his career.

Brown spent six seasons with the Dolphins before bouncing between the Chargers, Eagles, and Texans through the final years of his career.
AP Photo/Ben Margot
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Braylon Edwards was picked No. 3 overall by the Cleveland Browns.

Braylon Edwards was picked No. 3 overall by the Cleveland Browns.
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Edwards had a breakout season in his third year in the league, bringing in 80 receptions for 1,289 yards and 16 touchdowns, but left Cleveland after some legal issues. He spent time with the Jets, 49ers, and Seahawks to close his career.

Edwards had a breakout season in his third year in the league, bringing in 80 receptions for 1,289 yards and 16 touchdowns, but left Cleveland after some legal issues. He spent time with the Jets, 49ers, and Seahawks to close his career.
AP Photo/Ed Zurga
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Cedric Benson was picked No. 4 overall by the Chicago Bears.

Cedric Benson was picked No. 4 overall by the Chicago Bears.
REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine RFS/HB
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Benson never excelled in Chicago but had four solid seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals from 2008-2011 before ending his career with the Packers in 2012. Benson died in a motorcycle accident in 2019.

Benson never excelled in Chicago but had four solid seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals from 2008-2011 before ending his career with the Packers in 2012. Benson died in a motorcycle accident in 2019.
AP Photo/Tony Tribble
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Cadillac Williams was picked No. 5 overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Cadillac Williams was picked No. 5 overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
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Williams rushed for 1,178 yards his rookie season and was named Offensive Rookie of the Year. It was the best season of his seven-year career, which was marred by several injuries. He is now a coach at Auburn.

Williams rushed for 1,178 yards his rookie season and was named Offensive Rookie of the Year. It was the best season of his seven-year career, which was marred by several injuries. He is now a coach at Auburn.
AP Photo/Mike Stewart
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Adam "Pacman" Jones was picked No. 6 overall by the Tennessee Titans.

Adam "Pacman" Jones was picked No. 6 overall by the Tennessee Titans.
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Jones played 12 seasons in the NFL despite several legal issues, spending the majority of his career with the Cincinnati Bengals. He officially announced his retirement in 2019.

Jones played 12 seasons in the NFL despite several legal issues, spending the majority of his career with the Cincinnati Bengals. He officially announced his retirement in 2019.
AP Photo/David Richard
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Troy Williamson was picked No. 7 overall by the Minnesota Vikings.

Troy Williamson was picked No. 7 overall by the Minnesota Vikings.
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Williamson spent five seasons in the NFL and caught just four touchdowns. He never finished a year with more than 500 yards receiving.

Williamson spent five seasons in the NFL and caught just four touchdowns. He never finished a year with more than 500 yards receiving.
AP Photo/Phil Coale
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Antrel Rolle was picked No. 8 overall by the Arizona Cardinals.

Antrel Rolle was picked No. 8 overall by the Arizona Cardinals.
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Rolle played 11 seasons in the NFL and won a Super Bowl with the New York Giants in 2011. He was named to the Pro Bowl three times.

Rolle played 11 seasons in the NFL and won a Super Bowl with the New York Giants in 2011. He was named to the Pro Bowl three times.
AP Photo/Bill Kostroun
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Carlos Rogers was picked No. 9 overall by the Washington Football Team.

Carlos Rogers was picked No. 9 overall by the Washington Football Team.
AP Photo/Rick Havner
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Rogers spent 10 productive seasons as an NFL cornerback, playing for Washington, San Francisco, and Oakland. In 2020, he pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiring to defraud a program set up to reimburse former players for out-of-pocket medical expenses.

Rogers spent 10 productive seasons as an NFL cornerback, playing for Washington, San Francisco, and Oakland. In 2020, he pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiring to defraud a program set up to reimburse former players for out-of-pocket medical expenses.
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
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Mike Williams was picked No. 10 overall by the Detroit Lions.

Mike Williams was picked No. 10 overall by the Detroit Lions.
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Williams spent five years in the NFL over two stints, finishing with just 1,526 yards and five touchdowns over the course of his career. He now coaches high school football in Tampa, Florida.

Williams spent five years in the NFL over two stints, finishing with just 1,526 yards and five touchdowns over the course of his career. He now coaches high school football in Tampa, Florida.
AP Photo/Tony Avelar
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DeMarcus Ware was picked No. 11 overall by the Dallas Cowboys.

DeMarcus Ware was picked No. 11 overall by the Dallas Cowboys.
AP Photo/Matt Slocum
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Ware had one of the most productive careers of the 2005 draft class, spending 12 seasons in the NFL and being named to first-team All-Pro four times. He finished his career with 138.5 sacks - good for 9th on the all-time list.

Ware had one of the most productive careers of the 2005 draft class, spending 12 seasons in the NFL and being named to first-team All-Pro four times. He finished his career with 138.5 sacks - good for 9th on the all-time list.
AP Photo/Joe Mahoney
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Shawne Merriman was picked No. 12 overall by the San Diego Chargers.

Shawne Merriman was picked No. 12 overall by the San Diego Chargers.
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Merriman spent eight years in the NFL with the Chargers and Bills before announcing his retirement in 2013. In 2019, he launched an MMA promotion called, "Lights Out Xtreme Fighting."

Merriman spent eight years in the NFL with the Chargers and Bills before announcing his retirement in 2013. In 2019, he launched an MMA promotion called, "Lights Out Xtreme Fighting."
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Jammal Brown was picked No. 13 overall by the New Orleans Saints.

Jammal Brown was picked No. 13 overall by the New Orleans Saints.
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Brown spent the first five years of his career in New Orleans protecting Drew Brees, winning a Super Bowl with the Saints in 2010. Brown spent three more years with Washington before an injury ended his career.

Brown spent the first five years of his career in New Orleans protecting Drew Brees, winning a Super Bowl with the Saints in 2010. Brown spent three more years with Washington before an injury ended his career.
AP Photo/Nick Wass
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Thomas Davis was picked No. 14 overall by the Carolina Panthers.

Thomas Davis was picked No. 14 overall by the Carolina Panthers.
AP Photo/Mike McCarn
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Davis spent 14 seasons with the Panthers and said he would retire after the 2018 season, but returned to the league to play two more years - one with the Chargers, and one with Washington. He announced his retirement (again) in December 2020.

Davis spent 14 seasons with the Panthers and said he would retire after the 2018 season, but returned to the league to play two more years - one with the Chargers, and one with Washington. He announced his retirement (again) in December 2020.
AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio
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Derrick Johnson was picked No. 15 overall by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Derrick Johnson was picked No. 15 overall by the Kansas City Chiefs.
AP Photo/Dave Einsel
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Johnson made four Pro Bowls over 13 seasons in Kansas City before heading to the Oakland Raiders for the final year of his career in 2018.

Johnson made four Pro Bowls over 13 seasons in Kansas City before heading to the Oakland Raiders for the final year of his career in 2018.
AP Photo/Ed Zurga
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Travis Johnson was picked No. 16 overall by the Houston Texans.

Travis Johnson was picked No. 16 overall by the Houston Texans.
AP Photo/David J. Phillip
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Johnson spent six seasons in the NFL with the Texans and Chargers.

Johnson spent six seasons in the NFL with the Texans and Chargers.
AP Photo/Eric Gay
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David Pollack was picked No. 17 overall by the Cincinnati Bengals.

David Pollack was picked No. 17 overall by the Cincinnati Bengals.
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Pollack suffered a scary injury in his second NFL season that eventually ended his playing career. He has served as an analyst on ESPN's "College Gameday" for the past 10 years.

Pollack suffered a scary injury in his second NFL season that eventually ended his playing career. He has served as an analyst on ESPN's "College Gameday" for the past 10 years.
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Erasmus James was picked No. 18 overall by the Minnesota Vikings.

Erasmus James was picked No. 18 overall by the Minnesota Vikings.
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James spent four seasons in the NFL before being waived by Washington in 2008.

James spent four seasons in the NFL before being waived by Washington in 2008.
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Alex Barron was picked No. 19 overall by the St. Louis Rams.

Alex Barron was picked No. 19 overall by the St. Louis Rams.
AP Photo/Jeff Roberson
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Barron played five seasons in the NFL before bouncing between a few practice squads and ultimately ending his career in 2013.

Barron played five seasons in the NFL before bouncing between a few practice squads and ultimately ending his career in 2013.
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Marcus Spears was picked No. 20 overall by the Dallas Cowboys.

Marcus Spears was picked No. 20 overall by the Dallas Cowboys.
AP Photo/LM Otero
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Spears spent nine seasons in the NFL, eight of them with the Cowboys. He's now an analyst for "NFL Live" on ESPN.

Spears spent nine seasons in the NFL, eight of them with the Cowboys. He's now an analyst for "NFL Live" on ESPN.
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Matt Jones was picked No. 21 overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Matt Jones was picked No. 21 overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
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Jones played just four seasons in the NFL, all of them with Jacksonville, catching 65 receptions for 761 yards and two touchdowns in the best year of his career. He spent several years working in sports radio in his home state of Arkansas after leaving the NFL.

Jones played just four seasons in the NFL, all of them with Jacksonville, catching 65 receptions for 761 yards and two touchdowns in the best year of his career. He spent several years working in sports radio in his home state of Arkansas after leaving the NFL.
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Mark Clayton was picked No. 22 overall by the Baltimore Ravens.

Mark Clayton was picked No. 22 overall by the Baltimore Ravens.
AP Photo/Kyle Ericson
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Clayton played seven seasons in the NFL, five of them with the Ravens. After his playing career, Clayton founded LIVV headphones, a fitness-friendly wireless headphone brand.

Clayton played seven seasons in the NFL, five of them with the Ravens. After his playing career, Clayton founded LIVV headphones, a fitness-friendly wireless headphone brand.
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Fabian Washington was picked No. 23 overall by the Oakland Raiders.

Fabian Washington was picked No. 23 overall by the Oakland Raiders.
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Washington played six seasons in the NFL with the Raiders and Ravens before a hamstring injury ended his career in 2011.

Washington played six seasons in the NFL with the Raiders and Ravens before a hamstring injury ended his career in 2011.
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Aaron Rodgers was picked No. 24 overall by the Green Bay Packers.

Aaron Rodgers was picked No. 24 overall by the Green Bay Packers.
AP Photo/Julie Jacobson
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Now 15 seasons into his NFL career, Rodgers is playing as well as ever. In 2020, he threw 48 touchdowns and just five interceptions en route to the Packers taking the top seed in the NFC heading into the playoffs. Looking back, it's nearly impossible to believe he fell to No. 24 in the 2005 NFL Draft.

Now 15 seasons into his NFL career, Rodgers is playing as well as ever. In 2020, he threw 48 touchdowns and just five interceptions en route to the Packers taking the top seed in the NFC heading into the playoffs. Looking back, it's nearly impossible to believe he fell to No. 24 in the 2005 NFL Draft.
Aaron Rodgers. AP Photo/Mike Roemer
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