Would The Titans Rather Have Pacman Or Rodgers?
By Mike Edler
They say hindsight is 20-20 and this is as true in football as in any other scenario in life.
The 2005 NFL draft is now seen as the draft that gave the Tennessee Titans players like Adam “Pacman” Jones, Michael Roos, David Stewart and Courtney Roby, but what if they could go back and select again knowing what we do now? We now know that Jones was a bust for the Titans at the 6th overall pick with his constant off-the-field issues. Lets assume the first five picks of the 2005 draft went the same way as in 2005 and look at who the Titans could have and should have selected.
Immediately you see what the Titans missed out on. Ware has been one of the best pass rushers in the NFL since the Cowboys drafted him at the 11th overall spot. Ware would have had an instant impact with the Titans, whether he lined up as a defensive end across from Kyle Vanden Bosch or he was a 4-3 outside linebacker joining Keith Bulluck and Rocky Boiman. Ware isn’t built to be a 4-3 player, but his upside was too great for a team like the Titans to pass up. Ware would have been plugged in immediately and could have competed with Vanden Bosch’s team leading 12.5 sacks. Ware could have been a big piece of the defensive puzzle for a Titan team that is still looking for a pass rush identity in 2013.
On the 2005 Titans roster they have Drew Bennett and Tyrone Calico penciled in as starters and not much else. Steve McNair is in, what would be, his last season as a Titan and has little to nothing in the backfield with Chris Brown and Travis Henry. At the 6th overall spot the Titans could have grabbed the Falcons star. The Titans have had bad luck drafting wide receivers before, and also missed out on Reggie Wayne in 2001, so who knows if White would have developed into the player he is today, but it would have gave the passing game some legs. McNair would have had a legitimate top receiver and maybe he doesn’t sign to the Baltimore Ravens the next season. The ripple effect of having Roddy White could have extended to today and he would still be a top receiver in Tennessee.
How can you talk about the 2005 NFL Draft and not mention Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers, we know now, is a Super Bowl champion and possibly the best quarterback in the league. At the 6th overall spot the Titans passed, like many others, on the California Golden Bear in favor of a flashy corner with an attitude problem. Rodgers would have been the heir apparent to the McNair throne in Tennessee. McNair could have mentored a passionate and willing apprentice to eventually be the best quarterback in franchise history. After a terrible 4-12 season for the Titans, McNair could leave to Baltimore and enter Rodgers. Again, who knows if this would have been the same player in Titan blue, but I would give anything to find out. Whatever Rodgers developed into it would have been better than the eventual heir Vince Young. Rodgers fall down the draft and his rise to be another great Packer quarterback is now well known, but you have to think “what if?"
Overall the 2005 NFL Draft wasn’t a failure for the Titans. Jones was a solid starter and potential star while he was there, but his off the field issues got the better of him. Michael Roos (2nd round) and David Stewart (4th round) are still the teams bookend tackles and are one of the best tandems in the league. The 2005 NFL Draft was a landmark time for the NFL and looking back you can see how one pick could have changed the course of the league.