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Aaron Rodgers still gets 'nostalgic' at 2005 draft fall to Packers

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Aaron Rodgers still thinks about it around this time each year. With the annual nonstop coverage leading up to the NFL draft, how could he not?

On Thursday night in Chicago, another former University of California quarterback, Jared Goff, won’t have to wait nearly as long to hear his name as Rodgers waited in New York City in 2005. Goff is expected to go No. 1 to the Los Angeles Rams; if he doesn’t, he’ll go second to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Rodgers, of course, fell from being the potential No. 1 overall pick all the way to No. 24 overall, landing with the Green Bay Packers.

It has worked out pretty well for the two-time NFL MVP and Super Bowl XLV MVP, and while Rodgers isn’t generally one to reminisce, he does think about that awkward 4 1/2-hour wait he endured in the green room, with TV cameras catching many of the excruciating moments that followed Utah's Alex Smith going No. 1 to San Francisco.

“You can’t help but get nostalgic at times, watching all the coverage,” Rodgers said. “I’ve said this before: I’m glad the coverage and the scrutiny wasn’t this high in 2005. It felt like there were a lot of eyes on you at the time. Now, those guys can’t go anywhere without cameras at their workouts, and obviously the combine is crazy now with every little thing scrutinized and watched by millions of people on the networks.

“It’s a different era. It’s fun for those kids, I think, but it also puts a little bit more pressure on them to be at their best the entire time. But great athletes expect greatness when they step into those arenas. It’s fun to look back on my oversized suit and my soul patch [on draft day] and some of the faces I made during the 4 1/2 hours, but obviously everything turned out really well.”

As for Goff, Rodgers said he has not spoken to the presumptive No. 1 pick but wishes him good luck.

“What I know of him is he’s a great kid and he’s got a bright future in front of him,” Rodgers said, before smiling and adding, “And if he gets drafted by L.A., he’s a lucky man.”