We’ve all seen the clip.
Aaron Rodgers, fresh off being passed over as the No. 1 overall draft pick by his hometown 49ers, said they’d regret it.
Rodgers wanted revenge on his NFC Championship opponent from Day 1 👁
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) January 13, 2020
They undoubtedly do.
As Rodgers ascended to become one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, with only head coach Mike McCarthy and a trash-fire defense holding him back, the 49ers rifled through quarterback after quarterback.
There were 15 in all from 2005-2020.
That’s right … 15.
There was Alex Smith, the guy chosen as the No. 1 overall pick instead of Rodgers. Smith had a solid NFL career, the only thing keeping him from being mentioned as a Sam Bowie-esque NFL draft pick.
There also was Tim Rattay, Ken Dorsey and Cody Pickett. Woof. There was washed Trent Dilfer, Shaun Hill, Chris Weinke and J.T. O’Sullivan. Don’t pour bleach in your eyes just yet.
Rodgers sat behind Packers legend Brett Favre. He waited. He learned. Then, when the time came, he was great. Perhaps the most talented quarterback in NFL history.
The 49ers kept going through signal-callers. Smith and Hill split duties in 2009. Alex Smith and Troy Smith got the call in 2010 when Rodgers led the Packers to a Super Bowl title.
It was Alex Smith’s job in 2011, but then Colin Kapernick burst onto the scene. They split starts in 2012 before Kaepernick took over permanently after helping lead the 49ers to a Super Bowl berth. Kap started all the games in 2013 and 2014. Then, he split time with Blaine Gabbert in 2015 and 2016.
Rodgers continued to dazzle through the 2010s, making the 49ers regret not drafting the Cal product when they had the chance.
Brian Hoyer and C.J. Beathard took snaps in 2017 before Jimmy Garoppolo took over for the final five games. Nick Mullens was the 15th starter to take snaps, doing so in 2018 after Garoppolo tore his ACL and Beathard was benched.
[RELATED: Rodgers’ message to Jimmy G comes true in title game matchup]
One decision in 2005 set two franchises on different courses. One was allowed to go from legend to legend while the other played quarterback roulette for more than a decade.
Those two teams will meet Sunday when Rodgers and the Packers visit the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game. For all his accomplishments, Rodgers never has beaten the 49ers in the playoffs.
He has a chance exact his full revenge with a win Sunday. But be sure, the 49ers have regretted not drafting No. 12, whether they’ll admit it or not.
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