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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ Brock Purdy rated 29th in latest QB rankings

Sep 15, 2023 at 12:00 PM--

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The Brock Purdy disrespect is real.

Sports and media analysis site The Ringer has debuted their 2023 quarterback rankings list, and boy, it's a doozy. If you haven't read up on it, I recommend it - the presentation is phenomenal, the analysis is thorough, and they even have team and trade value rankings. But sometimes, their decision-making process couldn't hit a barn door from three feet away. Case in point: 49ers QB Brock Purdy, who enters the Week 2 matchup against the LA Rams as the 29th-ranked quarterback in the league.

49ers fans, though, know that in no world is Purdy the 29th-most talented starting QB in the game right now. Even at his young age, the poise and playmaking the Iowa State product brings to the field has elevated one of the league's best and most intricate offenses on a week-in, week-out basis. And yet, The Ringer had Purdy ranked 32nd out of 34 QBs coming into the year. He wasn't even ahead of Tom Brady, and Brady's retired. That's just not right. Let's dig into Purdy's profile and try to figure out why the BCB hate is so real.

Brock Purdy, 2023 Week 2 Profile

Accuracy: 76
Arm Talent: 73
Pocket Presence: 70
Decision Making: 70
Creativity: 78
Timing: 71

Attributes: Got that Dawg in Him, Disaster Artist

The Breakdown:
Don't call Purdy a game manager. A system quarterback? Sure, but even that may misrepresent his game. Purdy provides a playmaking jolt to Shanahan's clever play designs. But it sometimes comes at a cost. He'll throw into tight windows, go into scramble mode, miss out on an opportunity downfield, and hold on to the ball for an eternity. Purdy's irrational confidence hasn't been punished by defenses yet—if anything, it's been rewarded—and he's been accurate enough to take advantage of Shanahan's play-calling. But Purdy will take the next step only when he dials back on the aggressiveness without sacrificing too much of the playmaking instinct that helped him earn the starting job in the first place.

Biggest Strength: Creativity
Purdy is always hunting the big play. If that requires him to spin out of the pocket and make a throw on the run, he's got just enough athleticism and arm talent to do it.

Biggest Weakness: Pocket Presence
Some of that creativity comes at a cost. Purdy routinely drops his eyes and misses receivers running open downfield. That's fairly common for shorter quarterbacks.

Seems simple enough. According to this ranking, Purdy is a Game Manager+, similar the type of player Jimmy Garoppolo was prior to his ACL tear. Looking further, the individual stat grades are weighted; timing, creativity, and pocket presence all add up to just 30% of the overall grade! And that particular structure absolutely does a disservice to Purdy, who has routinely wrecked defenses with just that - watch him demonstrate exceptional skill in all three of those areas on a scramble in last week's game:

We're seeing a massive difference in the pre-draft perceptions of Purdy that led him to be drafted in the last pick of the last round in 2022, and the plays that he's put on film. The Ringer has Purdy labeled a "Disaster Artist." Jimmy Garoppolo and his career 2.5% interception rate certainly is, which is part of why Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch moved on. But Garoppolo is also rated 21st in these rankings, despite a less impressive Week 1 performance.

That's where the chip on Purdy's shoulder should become a boulder. Between Purdy and Garoppolo, here are some rankings that should make you raise an eyebrow:

28th: Bryce Young*
27th: Baker Mayfield
26th: Anthony Richardson*
25th: Kenny Pickett
24th: Justin Fields
23rd: Jordan Love
22nd: Deshaun Watson


That's three (3!) players who have played one NFL game each, two dudes that can barely throw a football, a guy that wasn't in the same stratosphere as Purdy last week, and Baker Mayfield for some reason. Great guy. Love the commercials. I'd still take Purdy.

Oh, and Mac Jones, conjectured Kyle Shanahan 2021 draft crush, is ranked 20th with a 91 Accuracy grade. Which makes sense, considering he can do this:

Clearly, a throw that a mediocre passer could never pull off.

So if you're wondering why so many pundits are still so low on Purdy, there's not a lot I can point to. He didn't look All-World against a top-3 defense in last year's NFC Divisional round, which I get. But in that game, he outperformed Dak Prescott, who ranks...7th. It's likely that without the insane arm strength that makes players like Allen and Mahomes such highlight-reel machines, Purdy will never get the respect that he deserves. But if you look at what Purdy already does, and how he and Shanahan bring the best out of this San Francisco offense, I wouldn't be surprised if they end up laughing all the way to Vegas.

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