Rodgers has all the potential to be a great quarterback in the NFL. However, the Packers felt the same way about Rich Campbell in 1981, the last time the Packers selected a quarterback in the first round. Campbell played in only seven regular season games with the Packers. The Cleveland Browns obviously felt the same way about Tim Couch in 1999.
Nothing is guaranteed from any player a team selects in the draft, so why not select a player that can help your team the most immediately? Favre gives the Packers a legit chance at winning an NFC title. The Packers hired a new defensive coordinator in Jim Bates to improve their woeful defense, yet new general manager Ted Thompson turned his back on the team's glaring needs on the defensive line and defensive backfield.
"We wanted to take the best football player," said Thompson. "We really and truly felt that he was the best football player on the board. It's the way he plays the game. I felt comfortable with the decision."
Packers fans probably won't see how Rodgers plays the game for a few years at the earliest, so what about 2005? The Packers are in a win-now league, but they seem content with their mediocre defense.
Thompson's selection of Rodgers somewhat indicates that he is taking the first step in revamping the Packers. The first thing Ron Wolf did when he came to Green Bay in 1992 was trade a first round pick away for a quarterback named Favre. By selecting Rodgers, the Favre era may come to an end sooner than Packer fans think.
With two picks in the second round and one in the third, Thompson can still help the defense but it will be more of a challenge.