Mr Irrelevant to Super Bowl QB: the rise and rise of 49ers star Brock Purdy

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy’s cheap rookie contract has allowed the team to sign stars across the rest of the roster.Photograph: Ashley Landis/AP

When teams selected the NFL stars of the future in the 2022 draft, no one wanted to go anywhere near Brock Purdy – and it was hard to blame them. He had a good college career at Iowa State but the scouting reports hardly screamed The Next Tom Brady: “throwing is more of a chore than a talent”, “lacks quickness”, “a scrappy runner but not dynamic”, “shies away from tight throws”. At least Purdy was consistent: by the sport’s exacting standards, he appeared to be bad at everything.

Related: Could Brock Purdy’s rock bottom contract deliver the 49ers the Super Bowl?

But the San Francisco 49ers’ Kyle Shanahan, known as one of the finest offensive-minded head coaches in the NFL, had been impressed by Purdy’s tape from college and selected him with the 262nd – and final – pick of the draft, a position that each year earns one player the nickname “Mr Irrelevant” and plenty of derision on social media.

When Purdy turned up for the 49ers’ summer training camp it was debatable whether he would even make the roster: he was their fourth-choice quarterback – most teams only carry three – and it wouldn’t have been a surprise if he was back working for his family’s hot-tub business in Arizona before the season rolled around. But he did make it and then last year, in his rookie season, strange things happened.

First, the team’s starter Trey Lance, whose speed and strength made him a star quarterback on paper, went down injured. Then back-up Jimmy Garoppolo, whose movie-star good looks made him appear a star quarterback on camera, was injured too. In trundled Purdy who looked, at best, like someone who may be able to avoid embarrassing himself. But he promptly led the 49ers to seven straight wins and their season only ended when he was injured in the NFC Championship Game…

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Author : The Guardian

Publish date : 2024-02-09 22:00:24

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