Brock Purdy isn’t mentioned in the same conversations as Jalen Hurts Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, Josh Allen and the elite group of young quarterbacks in the current NFL landscape.
San Francisco 49ers star running back Christian McCaffrey has a much different opinion about his starting QB and believes smart coaches and NFL executives around the league have a different perception of Purdy than the casual fan.
“I don’t think anyone (paying attention) is missing how good he is” McCaffrey told Mike Silver of the San Francisco Chronicle. “I think everybody (in football) know’s he’s phenomenal. At some point, that just becomes who he is.”
49ers starting tight end George Kittle echoed McCaffrey’s statement telling Silver Purdy is “everything you want in a young quarterback. He takes risks, but he’s careful with the ball. He has great presence in the pocket. We’re gonna keep winning games. He’s gonna keep getting opportunities. And eventually, people will figure out how good he is.”
Brock Purdy’s Unexpected NFL Rise
Anyone with a pulse on the league knows Purdy’s improbable story. The former Iowa State quarterback was the very last pick of the 2022 NFL Draft for the 49ers. Injuries to Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance propelled Purdy from the third-string signal caller into the starting role last season. And he shined in a major way.
Purdy won all five of his regular season starts and the success kept rolling into the playoffs where he became the first 49ers rookie to start and win a postseason game as he threw for 217 yards and two touchdowns to knock off the Seattle Seahawks in the divisional round. The rookie then led San Francisco to a playoff win over the Dallas Cowboys to advance to the NFC Championship game, where he tore a ligament in his elbow against the Philadelphia Eagles and was forced to exit the game, ending his magical inaugural campaign.
The 49ers were ultimately knocked out of the playoffs after Purdy’s injury led to the Eagles advancing to the Super Bowl.
Purdy became one of the most unexpected stories in the NFL last season, finishing his five regular season starts 114-of-170 for 1,374 yards, 13 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions.
He continued to play well in the playoffs, finishing the postseason 41-of-63 for 591 yards and 3 touchdowns, while adding another score with his legs before his improbable year was finished against the devastating injury against Philly.
Shanahan And Company All-In With Brock Purdy For 2023
Despite coming off a shoulder surgery, the head coach Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers brass made it abundantly clear they were riding with Purdy as the starter for 2023. They let Garoppolo walk and even sent Trey Lance to Dallas, the same QB they traded 3 first-round picks in 2021 to secure as their future franchise signal caller.
Things change quickly in the NFL.
There’s no arguing the San Francisco 49ers are one of the favorites to contend for the Super Bowl in the NFC in 2023. It’s a roster loaded with talent on both sides of the ball and the quarterback is a major piece to that puzzle.
In Week 1, Purdy lit up the stat sheet in a commanding 30-7 road win over the Pittsburgh Steelers finishing the game 19-of-29 for 220 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
And then came Week 2, where in just his 10th NFL start, Purdy had a few overthrown passes and missed opportunities. The Rams kept it close from start to finish, and while the young signal caller wasn’t perfect, he still made big plays in big moments, helping propel the 49ers to a 30-23 victory on the road.
He didn’t record a touchdown pass, but he kept the offense moving and didn’t turn the ball over, while recording a rushing score on a goal-line QB sneak.
After two games in 2023, Purdy is tied for first in the NFL with a QBR of 83.7.
Why is that significant?
Unlike passer rating,QBR measures a wide array of factors like in-game situations, so completions late in the game don’t bolster the number like they would for a passer rating. Factors like whether the QB was under pressure at the time, the difficulty of each play and the strength of the defense are all considered.
Numbers don’t lie and it seems like Purdy’s teammates may be on to something.
Sean Labar covers the Washington Commanders and San Francisco 49ers for Heavy.com. Based in Fredericksburg, VA, his work has been featured at FOX, On3 Sports, Sports Illustrated and FanSided. More about Sean Labar