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How Brock Purdy has surprised 49ers, John Lynch

Aug 24, 2022 at 7:35 AM

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The San Francisco 49ers had done their homework on quarterback Brock Purdy entering the draft. They saw enough to make him not only their final selection in the draft but the final selection overall—"Mr. Irrelevant."

Purdy has been anything but irrelevant, though. Yes, 261 players were selected before him, but the former Iowa State quarterback has a chance to stick with the 49ers this season, even if it's on the practice squad.

A four-year starter for the Cyclones, Purdy threw 1,467 passes in college. By comparison, starter Trey Lance and Nate Sudfeld, the two quarterbacks above Purdy on the depth chart, have thrown a combined 1,409 passes in college and the NFL.

"For him to have that many games under his belt, that's a lot of football," head coach Kyle Shanahan said of Purdy via a conference call on Sunday. "And I know it's college football, but that's still a lot of pressure from a freshman all the way to his senior year.

"So Brock has played a lot of quarterback, and he's come here and hasn't let the big lights or being around NFL players change that. He's been kind of the same guy that you've seen on tape, and that's allowed him to have a chance to get better."

The 49ers hoped they found a late-round gem in the young quarterback. He's shown some flashes during preseason.

"Brock's done a really nice job," general manager John Lynch said Tuesday on KNBR's Tolbert & Copes show. "He was 'Mr. Irrelevant,' but we were hopeful that we had something. And I give our scouts, I give our quarterback coaches [credit]. They kind of took that, the backend of the draft, where we thought we might take someone, and really studied it hard. They really liked what Brock brought to the table, and I think we've seen that.

"He's kind of fearless out there. Kyle [Shanahan] talks about quarterbacks who aren't afraid to let it rip in the small windows, and I think that's a characteristic that Brock has."

It's not Purdy's command of the huddle or superb clock management that has surprised the 49ers, though. The team knew the 22-year-old quarterback possessed those traits.

"He also processes it quickly," Lynch said. "And I think probably where I've been surprised—a little better athlete than I anticipated him being. And so he carries himself really well. I think his teammates have really taken to him, and that's exciting when you find players like that."

Lynch acknowledges that the 49ers typically keep two quarterbacks on the roster. That allows the 49ers to maintain a little more depth elsewhere, which could be essential for a team looking to make a playoff run.

"But also, we know the importance of the quarterback position," Lynch continued, "so that's something we'll figure out as we continue to go through [roster changes]. But he's done his part for sure. He's looking really good."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Lynch below.

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