For someone affectionately labeled "Mr. Irrelevant" for his draft status, Brock Purdy sure is the center of the NFL world's attention of late. Coming off yet another winning, excellent performance in Thursday's 21-13 win over the Seahawks, Purdy has San Francisco thinking Super Bowl despite the loss of starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
Kyle Shanahan tends to be pretty good at the podium and doesn't mince words. Nevertheless, for him to go out of his way to praise Purdy to this degree tells you just how high he is on the first-year, seventh-round pick out of Iowa State.
AND LOOK AT PURDY. Talk about a "team guy" who "gets it" — few people in his position would even have the wherewithal to say something like this and deflect credit back to the entire QB room:
Oh yeah, that guy. Trey Lance. Who the Niners traded an assload of picks just for the rights to acquire him. Despite the draft position disparity, there's an equally big one in terms of how much actual on-field football experience those two young field generals have had. The decisive advantage goes to Purdy in that department, and it shows in his smooth operation of Shanahan's system.
Purdy indeed plays with poise and also a swagger that has injected new life into this 49ers offense. Crazy to say that even as Deebo Samuel has left the lineup due to injury as well. The numbers don't lie, though:
Scary for the rest of the league to think Purdy hasn't even unlocked his full potential. Not only could he be the future of the franchise at the most important position, but he already seems like a better player than Jimmy G. That feels ridiculous to say even as I type it out and like a classic prisoner of the moment, microwaved take of overreacting. However, I'm starting to believe in this young gun.
Case in point: Courtesy of NFL Network's Brian Baldinger, this breakdown of Purdy's second TD pass to George Kittle last night:
Oh, and not for nothing: Purdy was listed as questionable leading into Thursday with issues related to his oblique and ribs. You wanna talk about intangibles? How about defensive stars like Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead taking notice of your toughness?
I realize the San Francisco locker room loves Jimmy G. I understand he's won a lot of games for them. But the whole prevailing narrative has been that he can't get the Niners over the hump and win a Super Bowl. That and a failure to stay healthy was the premise behind trading up for Lance in the first place.
Although Purdy is a little undersized, doesn't have the biggest arm and still likely faces plenty of adversity ahead along with a slight regression, he has a certain "IT" factor that everyone hates to refer to but everyone has to admit is most definitely a thing. Brock Purdy has "it" in a way I don't believe Jimmy or Trey do. You don't need much time at all to see it. Maybe Jimmy had "it" at one point in his career, but with the strangeness of the past few years for him, I no longer believe he does. Trey Lance hasn't played enough football to draw any reasonable conclusions.
So yeah, I'll say it: Purdy is the 49ers QB1 and should be heading into next year until someone legitimately beats him out. Now let's hope the extra rest and recovery time after Thursday night has Purdy ready to roll at fuller health for a Christmas Eve matchup with the Commanders.