49ers Urged to Take ‘Most Accurate’ 2024 QB to Replace Brock Purdy

Brock Purdy

Getty Brock Purdy's future remains in doubt for 2024.

If the regression of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy continues, drafting Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. makes lots of sense.

That’s how Tom Jensen of Sports Illustrated’s All 49ers sees it when the 2024 NFL draft arrives. Purdy, the former Mr. Irrelevant in the 2022 draft, hasn’t lived up to his initial strong start of late amid a three-game losing streak and six turnovers.

“[Kyle] Shanahan can draft Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. if he falls, the most accurate college deep thrower in years, but with an injury history,” Jensen wrote. “Penix makes a defense pay for eight in the box. The Niners could draft a defensive end or a shutdown corner. With any of those options, Purdy’s long-term chances as the starter diminish.”

Penix completes 69.4% of his passes amid his 3,201 yards for 26 touchdowns versus seven interceptions. While he can make plays with his legs, he doesn’t rely on that amid less than 100 yards rushing and only five rushing touchdowns in two seasons with the Huskies.

49ers Picking for Brock Purdy Still an Option

San Francisco looks poised to pick No. 26 or lower despite the team’s current setbacks after a 5-0 start. Despite Purdy’s role in the recent struggles, Jensen didn’t totally rule out Purdy emerging as a franchise quarterback and that the 49ers could invest in him with that No. 26 pick — or wherever the Niners will land.

“Purdy is fully capable of being the franchise quarterback. However, to do so he needs a balanced offense and Shanahan to prioritize pass protection for the first time in over seven years,” Jensen wrote.

“Shanahan will have an opportunity to do so in the upcoming draft. If he does then two key concerns about Purdy are resolved, his health and efficiency,” Jensen wrote. “If not, then Purdy is a high injury risk, and his potential lack of availability or losing while playing hurt will ultimately be his undoing.”

Brock Purdy’s Health Remains an X-Factor in the 49ers’ Decision

While Purdy wowed in 2022 with the playoff run, it came to an abrupt end with his elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery. Purdy’s latest injury issues cropped up with a concussion after a loss to the Minnesota Vikings followed by a quick return against the Cincinnati Bengals in late October.

“The turnovers in the last two weeks, in my view Purdy shouldn’t have been playing,” Jensen wrote. “My experience with a severe concussion is it robs you of mental stamina, you lose focus and acuity more quickly, and you fade. You feel normal but aren’t. Bad decisions late stem from that faded focus.”

Jensen weighed in the case for and against Purdy as the franchise quarterback for the 49ers. The analyst ultimately concluded that the team’s draft decision in the first round would be the most talented, but Jensen also noted that Purdy’s hasn’t had a fully healthy offseason yet to work on his game.

“When he does, what improvements will we see? Better mechanics, accuracy, arm strength? The Purdy that emerges from that off-season is the one who needs to be judged. That quarterback is the one who decides if his fate is starter or back-up,” Jensen wrote.