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NFL Draft - QB Aaron Rodgers Scouting Report 2005 Yearbook
QB Aaron Rodgers - Packers
Draft Insiders’ - Yearbook '05 Scouting Report - Aaron Rodgers was our Top Overall #1 Prospect. He went late in the 1st round to Green Bay at the 24th overall pick.
1. * Aaron Rodgers #8 - 6'2" 220 lbs. - Cal - Sp. 4.7 Rating 92
Hindu Theory - Joe Montana
Talented strong-armed junior passer finished his career with back-to-back excellent efforts as a junior and sophomore. Aaron is an excellent passer who combines arm strength, mechanics and delivery to make all the throws. He is a well-built athlete with both a live arm and quick feet to give an offense a versatile threat under center. He has developed quickly as an athlete, improving in every aspect of QB play over his two-year starting career under the tutelage of HC Jeff Tedford. He has filled out as an athlete and possesses a strong live arm with the mobility to be a threat on the perimeter and the agility to throw on the move. He has quick footwork that creates passing lanes and allows him to avoid the pass rush, though he has only adequate footspeed to scramble outside the pocket. He has a compact quick delivery with sound mechanics that allows him to throw the ball very accurately on a game to game basis. He is a good ball handler and carries carry out play action well with good fakes In his basic setup, he is quick to get back in the pocket with the footwork to plant and drill the ball down the field. He has excellent pocket presence with keen awareness of his unit and the quick decision making to identify defensive coverage and get the ball to the hot receiver. He has improved significantly as a passer each season, showing good arm strength to throw the out and deep ball and the uncanny accuracy in the intermediate and short game to cut defenses apart. He shows rare field vision that has allowed him to make the proper read throughout the game and seldom forcing the ball into heavy coverage. In the pocket, he looks off the safety better than any recent college passer in addition to identifying defensive coverage quicker to make the quick decision and throw. His accuracy is in a class by itself whether throwing the slant, out, or deep pass. He has learned to put air under his throws to allow his receivers to make plays. He has exceptional timing and accuracy to the point that he hits receivers in stride consistently and allows them to break a play after the reception. He shows courage in the pocket and waits until the last minute to fire the ball to the open receiver. He can make all the throws with the toughness to hang in the pocket and take the hit and get the ball off and not be intimidated by a strong hit. In big game situations, he impressed scouts with his arm both from an accuracy and velocity standpoint in addition to his smarts and mobility to manage a game with minimal mistakes and unnecessary risks. He needs work on the finer points of the position to maximize his fine throwing arm and athleticism. Though he is not a finished performer at this point, he developed quickly over his short career and responded well to pressure situations. He became the key component on a Cal club that was an annual doormat in the Pac 10 prior to his starting time. Over his two seasons, he was the only QB to beat USC that he accomplished during his sophomore season and almost achieved again last fall when he fell just short despite a great performance. He shows the ability to adjust quickly to new situations and make the correct decision. For a young passer, he shows fine poise and composure that allowed him to elevate the play of his unit and bring the Cal program back to bowl status after a long dry spell. During the course of a game, he gets into an excellent passing rhythm that increases his confidence immensely and that positive attitude gets conveyed to his teammates to play at a higher level. He has a good feel for backside pressure in the pocket with fine foot quickness to avoid a rush and the ability to pull the ball down and make positive yardage. He has the frame to fill out further and checked in at an even 6’2” at the NFL Combine, fine height for a starting passer.
The Numbers: As a junior, he earned first team All-Pac-10 at quarterback after propelling the Golden Bears to a 10-2 record. He led the Bears to a 17-5 record in 22 career starts during his two seasons. In the ’04 season, he completed 66.2 percent of his passes for 2,566 yards, 24 TD and only 8 interceptions. He ranked first in the Pac-10 in passing efficiency—even ahead of 2004 Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart of USC—despite playing much of the season with a wide receiving corps decimated by injuries. He was named Offensive MVP at the ‘03 Insight Bowl after engineering a 52-49 win over Virginia Tech with a school bowl record 394 yards passing. He threw for 246 yards and one TD in the Cal 45-31 loss to Texas Tech in the ‘04 Holiday Bowl. In only two seasons, he climbed into seventh place on Cal’s career passing yardage list with 5,469 yards, completing 63.7 percent (424-of-665) of his attempts for 43 TD and only 13 interceptions. His 1.95 career interception percentage is a new Pac-10 record, eclipsing the mark of 2.59 set by USC’s Paul McDonald. In the ’04 USC game, he completed his first 23 passes against the nation No. 1 ranked club to tie a NCAA single-game record. He connected on 29 of 34 attempts for 267 yards, one TD and no picks for the afternoon, but they lost to the Trojans, 23-17, despite having four downs at the USC 9-yard line to score a possible game-winning TD in the closing minutes.
The Skinny: Talented junior passer made fast progress over his short starting career and has as much upside as any QB in recent memory. Though he played in a QB friendly system, his production and big game performance is undeniable. He is remarkably similar to Joe Montana in many ways, especially his footwork, accuracy and his ability to take an entire unit’s performance up a level. At the combine, he ran a 4.71 time, had a 34.5” vertical leap and 9’2" broad jump, but did not throw. He has definite NFL starting ability and could become an elite QB within a short time in the right setting. He needs to learn to pick up more sophisticated defensive coverage and how to respond to it. As a collegian, he learned to take what defenses gave him, something few young passers grasped until much later in their career. He is a good athlete with the live arm and intangibles including poise and leadership to become a top flight NFL starter. As a rookie, he may not be ready to start and probably needs some time to learn a system in addition to working with a good supporting cast. He should be the 1st overall pick with the 49ers foolish not to take him there and begin a new era.