Virginia hoping for happy returns

It is ridiculously early to be making any projections, but there's a chance the 49ers could draft USC's Matt Leinart or Cal's Aaron Rodgers.

Originally Published: January 4, 2005
By Todd McShay | Scouts, Inc.
The majority of the first round of the upcoming draft has been decided following Week 17 in the NFL. San Francisco already was locked into the top pick, but we now know the Dolphins will select at No. 2 and the Browns at No. 3.

It is ridiculously early to be making any projections, but considering team needs and the potential top draft prospects, there's a good chance the 49ers will have a difficult decision to make between USC's Matt Leinart and Cal's Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers announced Monday that he will skip his senior season to enter the draft.

The Dolphins and Browns could both be looking at quarterbacks, and the Dolphins also will be in the market for a running back following the Ricky Williams saga. As a result, Leinart, Rodgers and one of the top running backs (Auburn's Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams, and Texas's Cedric Benson) could be the first three picks of the 2005 draft.

Todd McShay

ESPN Senior Writer