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Adam Peters: 49ers QB Brock Purdy proved he should have been drafted earlier

Feb 28, 2024 at 11:30 AM--

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New Washington Commanders general manager Adam Peters faces the task of transforming the often-struggling organization into a contender, part of which involves identifying a franchise quarterback. Will that come with the No. 2 overall pick? Peters is certainly aware that drafting a signal-caller in the first round isn't always a recipe for success, as evidenced by his experiences at his last job.

Peters spent the past seven seasons with the San Francisco 49ers as general manager John Lynch's trusted second-in-command. Together, after input from coaches and scouts, they made the call to draft quarterback Brock Purdy. Of course, that didn't happen until the last overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

During the NFL Scouting Combine this week, Peters told reporters that the Commanders haven't dismissed the idea of moving forward with Sam Howell under center, though most expect the team to draft a quarterback early.

The Commanders' general manager was asked what he and the 49ers saw in Purdy during the evaluation process that convinced them to finally use a draft pick on the young player. After all, every team, including San Francisco, passed on the former Iowa State quarterback multiple times.

"Yeah, really with Brock, he was always composed, he was always like he is now," Peters told reporters in Indianapolis. "He is the same guy every day. And really his tape was what really turned us on, and then you meet the person. But this is only just a little bit part of the process, but his tape and everything that he did at Iowa State, and how well he played, and how well he played the position, we really thought that he could really fit in well with our scheme."

Reflecting on the process, Peters admitted that teams, including the 49ers, would have tried to draft Purdy earlier if they knew then what they know now.

"And if we thought he was that good, we probably wouldn't have waited until the last pick," Peters remarked. "But yeah, we liked him that much, and now, I've got to find a new quarterback."

The 49ers were fortunate to land Purdy a year after investing significant draft capital to acquire Trey Lance with the No. 3 overall pick in 2021. San Francisco gave up on Lance last year, trading the quarterback to the Dallas Cowboys ahead of the season.

Now, armed with the No. 2 overall pick, Peters hopes to avoid making a similarly costly mistake with the Commanders.

"If you're evaluating a defensive end, I think we all can see what [49ers DE] Nick Bosa or [Browns DE] Myles Garrett looks like," Peters explained. "And the quarterback, there's so much nuance that goes into it besides the talent and the skillset and the arm strength and all that. So, with really quarterback or any position, it's people evaluating people, so you're going to make mistakes, and it's a matter of if you have a better hit rate, really.

"It's the draft. You try to hit on as many as you can. And the more hits you have, whether it's the first-round pick or the seventh-round pick, or anywhere in between, that's how you build your team."

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