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Aaron Rodgers: Alex Smith deserves to be appreciated

Aaron Rodgers and Alex Smith forever will be linked by the way they came into the NFL.

Smith was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, while Rodgers dropped all the way to No. 24 before the Green Bay Packers selected him. Rodgers has used that perceived slight by teams as motivation during his outstanding NFL career, but he has sympathy for Smith, whom San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh benched last month in favor of Colin Kaepernick.

Rodgers discussed Smith's situation Monday during a conversation with NFL Network's Andrew Siciliano.

"Alex and I are buddies, we both got drafted in 2005 NFL Draft, and he's been through a lot," Rodgers said in the "NFL Total Access" interview. "I can't imagine to have to go through that many offensive coordinators and the turnover in coaches has been tough for him.

"He comes in, he's 70 percent completion, he's 100-plus quarterback rating last year, he's like barely over one percent interception percentage," Rodgers went on. "He's a great quarterback, he just needs to go somewhere he gets appreciated for the skills he has and hopefully he gets a chance next year."

Smith undoubtedly agrees.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.

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