Why the Vikings did not pick Aaron Rodgers in the 2005 NFL Draft

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) Aaron Rodgers
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) Aaron Rodgers /

There was no reason for the Minnesota Vikings to use a first-round pick on a quarterback in the 2005 NFL Draft.

Just about every year, around this time, there seems to be this idea floating around that the Minnesota Vikings could have used a first-round pick in the 2005 NFL Draft to select current Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and they just decided he wasn’t worth the pick.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Sure, the Vikings were completely aware that Rodgers was one of the top passing prospects in the 2005 draft pool. But Minnesota “passed” on him in 2005 for the same reasons why they won’t be using a first-round pick on a running back in this year’s draft.

With Dalvin Cook currently being one of the best running backs in the NFL, there is no need for the Vikings to spend their top 2021 draft selection on someone to replace him. Minnesota’s lack of need for a running back in this year’s draft is the same as their lack of need to draft a quarterback in 2005.

Aaron Rodgers was never going to land with the Minnesota Vikings in the 2005 draft

A few months before the 2005 NFL Draft, the Vikings had a guy starting under center in Daunte Culpepper who, in 2004, had just put up some of the best single-season numbers by a quarterback in the history of the franchise.

During the 2004 campaign, at the age of 27 (just two years older than Patrick Mahomes’ current age), Culpepper completed 69.2 percent of his passes for 4,717 yards, 39 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions in addition to also rushing for 406 yards and two more scores.

Combine this performance with the fact that Minnesota had just given Culpepper a 10-year, $102 million contract extension during the 2003 offseason.

So he’s two years into his new deal, and he’s coming off of one of the best single-seasons the franchise has ever seen from a starting signal-caller, but the Vikings should’ve drafted Rodgers in 2005?

“But the Packers picked Rodgers when they still had a great starting quarterback in Brett Favre, so Minnesota should have done the same thing,” is what some might say. Yeah, well, the difference is that Favre was eight years older (35) than Culpepper when Green Bay decided to use their 2005 first-round draft selection on Rodgers.

Of course, hindsight is what continues to fuel this idea that Minnesota went out of their way to pass on Rodgers in 2005. The current Packers quarterback will end up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame after his NFL career is over and Culpepper was off the Vikings’ roster by the 2006 season.

This still doesn’t change what Minnesota was going to do in the first round of the 2005 draft. Rodgers was never going to be drafted by the Vikings and there is no reason to think that it was even a possibility of happening.