Tedford influence hard to overlook

Updated: March 18, 2005, 1:28 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

One day after Utah quarterback Alex Smith wowed scouts with his hour-long workout, Cal QB Aaron Rodgers matched the output as the pair vie for the No. 1 selection in the 2005 NFL Draft, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.

In 92 attemps in Berkeley on Thursday afternoon, Rodgers threw one bad pass. Compare that to the 80 passes Smith tossed, where only three hit the ground and one was uncatchable.

Owners of the first pick in the draft, the 49ers were one of at least seven teams to watch the workout.

"He is as polished as I've seen," 49ers coach Mike Nolan told the paper after attending both workouts and watching several other quarterbacks on tape.

While past Jeff Tedford proteges (Joey Harrington, Akili Smith, Kyle Boller) have struggled in the NFL, Tedford urges people to judge Rodgers on his own merits.

"You can't lump Aaron in with anybody else," Tedford told the paper. "They are all individuals. He's very mature and very mentally tough."

Rodgers has been quizzed about Tedford's influence on him and the aforementioned quarterbacks many times by prospective teams.

"I really don't believe in the Tedford curse," Rodgers said. "It's been mentioned by a few teams, the Packers in particular."

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