Re: What if Rodgers was drafted #1 in 2005 instead of Smith?
As someone who has followed Smith's whole career from the beginning and who has been a huge fan of his I don't think Rodgers would have had the same success he currently had.
First all those 49ers teams were a MESS back then(not like they're any better now) and offensively one of the worst teams. It didn't help that Alex Smith was a very raw QB coming in and thrown into the wolves as a starting QB. Rodgers did have offensive talent when he inherited the roster from Favre, in San Franciso there was none of that,
Second, the Niners were a poorly coached team until Harbugh came. Mike Nolan was this pseudo macho man coach who had no clue on how to run an offense and a team for that matter. He forced Alex Smith to play with a separated throwing shoulder and even called him out for his toughness once Smith decided to actually sit out. The offensive coach for the 1st year was McCarthy actually but he left for the GB job after the 2005 season, the OC next year was Norv Turner and he did a great job with the young niner offense that year and made Smith look decent but he left to grab San Diego's HC position, then the next couple of years they hired OC after OC who were all but awful(besides Martz who as OK). Then of course Mike Singletarry who built a strong defensive unit but was clueless offensively. It wasn't until Harbaugh who turned around those "shitty" offensive players into a respectable unit.
Bottom line I think the poor coaching and dysfunctional system the niners had at the time would have stunted his growth. I see people bashing McCarthy but he and that FO have built a winning program.