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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Rapoport on 49ers’ Brock Purdy: “How is he not the starting quarterback next [season]?”

Jan 16, 2023 at 5:01 PM

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Everyone has been impressed by San Francisco 49ers rookie quarterback Brock Purdy. It's not just because he was the last overall pick in last year's draft. Purdy has been playing some impressive football. On Saturday against the Seattle Seahawks, in his first-ever NFL playoff game, Purdy finished the game 18-of-30 for 332 yards and three touchdowns, adding four carries for 16 yards and a rushing touchdown in the 41-23 win.

The performances over the last seven games are changing the minds of anyone who might have thought Purdy is a fluke. There has been talk of a quarterback battle between Purdy and the former No. 3 overall pick, Trey Lance, this offseason. One NFL insider even wonders how the rookie quarterback isn't the frontrunner in any battle.

"He's done some amazing things," Ian Rapoport said Monday on KNBR's Murph & Mac show. "I am impressed by all of the athletic stuff, but I'm more impressed by how he doesn't seem to be bothered by anything."

Rapoport notes that he hears others downplay Purdy's performances, attributing them to playing within head coach Kyle Shanahan's system. However, the insider notes that he has seen some quarterbacks not play well within the system, so he doesn't believe that has anything to do with it.

"Trey Lance, I think, could be very good, but it's not like he was blowing the doors off the thing when he was in there earlier in the year," Rapoport said. "Brock Purdy comes in and has got that thing humming. I think it's really impressive."

If Rapoport had to guess, he would predict that Lance will not be the 49ers' starting quarterback next season, barring an injury. That's a hard pill to swallow for a team that gave up the draft equivalent of a fortune for Lance.

There will be significant focus on the 49ers' quarterback situation during the upcoming offseason. It will likely be one of the more intriguing storylines in Santa Clara, especially if the Purdy Magic continues deep into the playoffs.

Said Rapoport: "What you're going to hear, especially from people like me, and are already talking about it, is what are they going to do next year?"

Rapoport acknowledges that had Purdy and the 49ers lost on Saturday, it might be easier to start discussing door number two, whether that be Lance or someone like Tom Brady. Purdy did win, though.

"Like, how is he not the starting quarterback next year?" Rapoport said. "... What more do you want? What is out there that he is not doing?"

All fair questions.

You can listen to the entire conversation with Rapoport below.

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