Let’s play devil’s advocate one more time and look at why the Packers should trade up in the NFL draft. This time I will be looking purely at the economics of the draft. The classic example that Packer fans love in the 2005 NFL draft where Alex Smith was given the biggest rookie contract of all time at that point with $45.9 million deal with $24 million guaranteed while Aaron Rodgers only commanded a $7.7 million deal (less than Smith’s guaranteed contract) with $5.4 million guaranteed. I’m not going to go in the relative value of Smith vs. Rodgers as players (as countless writers including myself have beaten the topic to death) but the take home message is that the Packers couldn’t lose economically: if Rodgers is the next Bart Starr, then they’ve got him at a discount for the first 5 years, if he’s decent the Packers paid a fair market value for him and if he’s a bust they can cut Rodgers without much penalty. Smith on the other hand had to succeed; it was the only way to justify his massive contract.