Because Brock Purdy was the final player chosen in the 2022 NFL draft, and because he is a slightly built, 6-foot-1 quarterback who barely looks old enough to buy a six-pack, there will be a steady stream of doubters and naysayers, swatting down his performance at every turn.
No surprise, then, that even with the Niners sitting at 3-0 and having scored 90 points in three games (30 points each time out), there is still a lot of focus on the things Purdy can’t do. That is, mostly, that he does not have a cannon for an arm, and he has struggled with his deep-throw accuracy.
Count Fox Sports blatherer Nick Wright in the Purdy-doubter camp. n fact, he sees a lot of very unpopular ex-49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo in Purdy.
Wright said that during Week 3’s game against New York, he invited folks on Twitter to play a game while watching Purdy—mark the throws that made you say, “Yikes,” and the throws that made you say, “Wow.”
“I ended up doing it and I came along with what most people did—about five yikes and two wows,” Wright said.
And while no one is claiming that Purdy will morph into a Hall of Famer this season, the only really pertinent question in San Francisco is whether it will be Purdy who prevents the juggernaut 49ers from winning the Super Bowl.
Asked that question, Wright said, “Yes. Yes.”
Wright Hits Brock Purdy with Jimmy G. Comp
During an episode of “First Things First” last week, a graphic was posted pointing out that Purdy had the highest winning percentage of any quarterback in 50 seasons with at least 11 starts, having gone 10-1 (.909). There were some greats on the list, including Pat Mahomes, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and 49ers legend Joe Montana.
But Wright picked one other name from the list—Jimmy Garoppolo, who had a .692 winning percentage—for his Purdy comparison. Garoppolo preceded Purdy at quarterback in San Francisco, and he was 38-17 in 55 games as a starter there. Wright stated that it is the 49ers’ offense under Kyle Shanahan that deserves credit for all the winning, not Purdy or Garoppolo.
“Is it the strong jawline? Is it the dimpled chin? Or is it playing for the Kyle Shanahan 49ers?” Wright said, comparing Purdy and Garoppolo. “Is that not possibly, slightly dispositive evidence that I should be able to have a large sample size before I anoint him?
“Because based on the numbers, he is not good—based on the numbers, he is great. Based on the numbers, he is a future MVP and if you don’t think he is one of, hands down, the five best quarterbacks in football, you are actually doing the same thing I am doing.”
Brock Purdy’s Struggles Don’t Matter — He Wins
Purdy is not on his way to the Pro Bowl, certainly. He is 20th on PFF’s list of quarterback grades, with a 68.3, which puts him behind Houston rookie C.J. Stroud and Arizona Cardinals journeyman Joshua Dobbs.
PFF also points out that he has been among the best quarterbacks in the NFL at throwing medium-depth balls (10-19 yards), with 19 completions on 21 attempts. His grade is 87.5 there. But he has not thrown very many deep balls of 20 yards or more—just eight, with three completions in three games. His grade on those is 59.7.
But Purdy’s record is undeniable. He is 8-0 in the regular season as a starter, with 17 touchdown passes and four interceptions in his career. He has not thrown a pick this year, and has a QB rating of 106.3. That’s fourth in the NFL. With the 49ers’ strength at the skill positions and on defense, that’s all they need from Purdy—stay upright and don’t make mistakes.
That may not be exciting enough for some, though.
Wright said Purdy’s statistical success and the fact that he does nothing but win somehow does not matter: “If you never watched him play and you read the box scores, you would have an opinion, but if you watched him play …”
If you’ve watched him play there will be things you can pick apart. But if you’ve watched him play, then you’ve actually never seen him lose a game he started and finished.