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Snap Judgments

Top of draft suspect, but certain teams did very well

Posted: Saturday April 23, 2005 4:14PM; Updated: Saturday April 23, 2005 5:00PM
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The Niners say Alex Smith was their choice all along, even though they didn't reveal their choice to anyone before the draft.

NEW YORK -- How weak was the top of the 2005 NFL Draft? Well, consider that the No. 1 pick was a 20-year-old quarterback (Utah's Alex Smith) who has just two years of starting experience, and the second selection was a running back (Auburn's Ronnie Brown) who didn't start at all in college. Oh, and the 10th pick? A guy who hasn't played a game in more than 15 months (USC receiver Mike Williams).

That's how weak.

Smith asked 49ers head coach Mike Nolan if he had made his No. 1 decision yet in a phone conversation on Friday night.

"He told me he made his decision a long time ago,'' Smith said. "So I felt good about that. I was the one they were going after the whole time.''

Oh. In that case, why all the drama?

The Big Slide

And the winner of the Dan Marino first-round slider of the year award goes to ... Cal quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Now we'll see if he really meant it on Friday when he said he didn't care where he went and he was just happy to get a chance to play in the NFL.

Best of the Blue

It's early, but when all is said and done, in the pantheon of highly drafted Michigan receivers, Braylon Edwards will be closer to Anthony Carter and Amani Toomer than Desmond Howard and David Terrell.

The Wrong Rogers?

I'm guessing you already know this, but you could have won a lot of money in Vegas by betting that the first Rogers selected Saturday would be Auburn cornerback Carlos Rogers, not Cal quarterback Aaron Rodgers (and, yes, we know they're spelled differently, but you get our smart-aleck point).

Need for Speed

Brown getting selected ahead of all other running backs at No. 2, Troy Williamson going before all other receivers at No. 7 and No. 11 Demarcus Ware being picked in front of every other defensive linemen tells us exactly the same thing: The NFL still worships at the altar of speed, speed, speed.

Don't Fear Condon

Don't sweat the Alex Smith signing too much 49ers fans (or front office for that matter). Three of the last four first-round quarterbacks represented by uber-agent Tom Condon have been signed, sealed and delivered by training camp: Eli Manning with the Giants last year, Tim Couch with Cleveland in 1999 and Peyton Manning with the Colts in 1998. Only San Diego's Philip Rivers bucked the trend, not adding his John Hancock until late in the preseason.

Then again, nobody signs early with the Chargers.