Commanders Tipped to Draft QB With ‘Shades’ of Brock Purdy

Brock Purdy

Getty The Washington Commanders are tipped to draft a QB similar to Brock Purdy.

The only surprise the Washington Commanders could spring in the 2024 NFL draft involves the identity of the quarterback the team is sure to select second overall. General manager Adam Peters foregoing Jayden Daniels or Drake Maye for J.J. McCarthy, because of perceived similarities with Brock Purdy, would rate as a mild shock.

That’s the curveball Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox can see the Commanders throwing at the top of Round 1. Although he “wouldn’t advocate for the Commanders taking McCarthy over Maye or Daniels,” Knox “can envision Peters seeing in McCarthy shades of another QB he had a hand in drafting—Brock Purdy—and flipping the switch on the pick.”

Knox also speculated about why rumors linking the Commanders to McCarthy have gone quiet: “Though the Commanders have met with the Michigan signal-caller, the buzz has quieted over the last few weeks. Sometimes, when the noise stops, it’s the result of a franchise trying to mask its intentions.”

Peters being in the front office when the San Francisco 49ers used the final pick in the 2022 draft to take Purdy lends weight to Knox’s predictions. Like Purdy, McCarthy is often viewed as a game-manager who knows how to win, but isn’t going to be a frequent guest star in weekly highlight reels.

Brock Purdy Comparisons Encouraging for Commanders

The comparisons with Purdy are encouraging for the Commanders. At least to a point. The so-called ‘Mr. Irrelevant’ from two years ago has compiled an enviable won-loss record at the controls for the Niners.

Purdy is 24-7 since entering the pros, according to StatMuse. His successes have led the 49ers to a pair of NFC Championship Games and an appearance in last season’s Super Bowl.

It’s a more than healthy return from a seventh-round pick turned starter. The problem is accurately gauging Purdy’s talent when he’s benefited from a high-powered supporting cast featuring left tackle Trent Williams, running back Christian McCaffrey, tight end George Kittle and wide receiver Deebo Samuel.

That difficulty is why Purdy has to answer questions about being labelled a “game manager,” something he shrugged off before the Super Bowl, per 49ers on NBCS: “If you’re saying that I’m a game manager and I don’t look flashy in how I do it. I mean, that’s your opinion and that’s okay. And at the end of the day, I want to do what it takes to help my team win.”

McCarthy has faced similar questions ahead of the draft.

J.J. McCarthy Game Manager Label Not a Problem

McCarthy’s position as functional overseer of national champion Michigan has either hampered or elevated his draft stock, depending on who’s doing the talking. A dissenting opinion comes from Hall of Fame QB Kurt Warner.

He doesn’t think McCarthy is enough of a “game-changer” to merit a top-five pick, per’s Karen Guregian.

That’s a prominent take on a passer who threw for under 3,000 yards in each of his last two seasons with the Wolverines. McCarthy doesn’t have the numbers to match the rest of the elite prospects at his position in this class, but there are still those who believe in the 21-year-old’s aptitude for the pro game.

As ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler found out, some observers believe McCarthy’s “not a game manager b/c they were hiding him — he has high-level traits.”

It’s a valid argument since then-Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh valued a heavy dose of a power-based running game. Harbaugh preferred efficiency rather than aerial pyrotechnics from his QB1.

The Commanders could plot a similar structure on offense thanks to the presence of running backs Austin Ekeler and Brian Robinson Jr. Alternatively, Peters may have to settle for McCarthy after the Commanders’ decision to meet with all of the big four passers at once might have upset some of the prospects, including Heisman Trophy winner Daniels.

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