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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

John Lynch says Brock Purdy has given 49ers stability at QB

Marc Adams
Feb 27, 2024 at 1:19 PM--

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The San Francisco 49ers finally have stability at the quarterback position. And it's been a while coming. Three years ago, the team was on the verge of making a major trade for the chance to draft Trey Lance, who they hoped would be the QB they had been waiting on. They needed to find a new quarterback because of the lack of stability at the position, primarily due to the number of games starting QB Jimmy Garoppolo seemed to miss most seasons.

But after watching Lance for some time, questions began to arise as to whether or not he could be the quarterback they drafted him to be. And after he and Garoppolo both were lost to injury in 2022, Brock Purdy, the barely-drafted seventh-rounder came in and saved the season, leading the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game. But a torn UCL early in the first quarter not only cost San Francisco its season, but it threatened to cost Purdy his 2023 season, as well.

Remarkably, Purdy not only recovered in time for the start of the 2023 season, but he had, arguably, a better year than any quarterback in the league, and certainly better than any 49ers QB since Hall of Famer Steve Young. Purdy passed for 4,280 yards, 31 touchdowns, only 11 interceptions, and completed 69.4% of his passes. He led the league with a 113.0 passer rating and also led the league in a handful of other statistics, including yards per attempt and yards per completion. Additionally, Purdy was a Pro Bowler who finished fourth in the voting for NFL MVP.

Finally, the 49ers have stability at the position, and Purdy's team, from the front office to the coaching staff to the players, have enormous confidence in him.

GM John Lynch spoke to reporters on Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Lynch addressed several topics, including his young quarterback. "It's a nice feeling, I know that, having stability at that position," Lynch said. "People forget last year was Brock's first full year as a starter. I think that leaves you feeling pretty good about his opportunity, with what we've already seen in his couple of years, in particular, last year, the first full year as a starter. He was coming off the injury. We're past that, and it just gives you a lot of confidence going in.

"Now it's like we're kind of building around him. It gives you a foundation to build off, and that's a really good feeling, a settling feeling."

It is remarkable that Purdy accomplished what he did as a rookie, overcame a devastating injury, and then had to season he had in 2023. That his general manager would say they are now building around him is quite the story. So how were the 49ers so fortunate to find stability at quarterback?

Washington Commanders GM Adam Peters spoke with reporters at the Combine on Tuesday, as well, and was asked about Purdy. Peters said, "His tape is what really turned us on, and then you meet the person… But this is only a little bit about the process. His tape and, everything that he did at Iowa State and how well he plays and how well he played the position, we really thought that he could fit in really well with our scheme… If we thought he was that good we probably wouldn't have waited until the last pick. But, we liked him that much. Now, I gotta find a new quarterback."

Along with Lynch, Peters was a key part of the 49ers finding stability at the game's most important position. But why did it take so long? Why is it so hard to find the right quarterback?

"There's a lot of reasons, but schematically, the college game continues to change," Lynch said. "So much of it is based on tempo rather than some of the schematic things that you do at the next level. The hashes are different. There's a bunch of different things, but that's something that will be around.

"What you do know is that if you draft a good one or find a good one in some form, you've got a lot better chance to be successful. So that can happen early. It can happen with the last pick in the draft. When you have one, your team is a lot better and your opportunity to win goes up substantially."

The 49ers finally have stability at quarterback, and they almost won a Super Bowl because of it.

49ers would welcome Jon Feliciano back

One reason the 49ers did not beat the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVIII might have been due to breakdowns in pass protection late in the game. According to David Lombardi, of The Athletic, "John Lynch indicated that the 49ers would very much like Jon Feliciano back for 2024. Team was very happy with how he fit schematically. Lynch also said Feliciano owned up to his social media mistake involving Spencer Burford."

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