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How 49ers’ lack of interest in Patrick Mahomes led to Brock Purdy

Mar 1, 2024 at 2:57 PM--

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You've undoubtedly heard this story before—a narrative tracing the path from the San Francisco 49ers' disinterest in drafting a quarterback in 2017 to their selection of quarterback Brock Purdy in 2022 with the last overall pick. ESPN's Adam Schefter recently revisited this tale, though it's one that's been shared numerous times.

During a recent conversation on the "Pardon My Take" podcast, Schefter discussed the 49ers' lack of interest in adding a rookie quarterback in 2017, including future Hall of Famer Patrick Mahomes, despite initially owning the No. 2 overall pick. What led the 49ers to avoid thoroughly evaluating quarterbacks from that draft class? Head coach Kyle Shanahan believed the team could secure Kirk Cousins the following offseason.

However, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots blew up Shanahan's plans by offering Jimmy Garoppolo, which the 49ers accepted.

San Francisco did end up drafting a quarterback in 2017—C.J. Beathard. He remained with the 49ers throughout his rookie contract before departing via free agency for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2021. As a result, the 49ers received a compensatory pick the following year—the last overall pick in 2022.

You can listen to Schefter recounting the story in the social media post below.

Again, Schefter isn't revealing anything groundbreaking. However, it remains an interesting story of how a single decision in the NFL can have ripple effects five years later, ultimately leading the 49ers to their (hopefully) quarterback of the future despite initially dismissing Mahomes and others.

In 2021, a year before drafting Purdy, Shanahan reflected on passing on Mahomes.

"Anybody who had a chance to take Patrick Mahomes or Deshaun (Watson) who didn't, I mean, everyone wishes we had a time machine," Shanahan said. "Before I came here, I had a very good idea that we would be able to get a free-agent quarterback (Cousins) the next year, one that I knew we could win with. So you're looking at these rookies … and no one at that time was considering those guys top-five picks, top-ten picks."

Instead, the 49ers didn't land Cousins and Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs have denied Shanahan two Super Bowl championships, with the most recent setback occurring 19 days ago in Las Vegas.

Shanahan concluded, "Hell yeah, I wish I could go back and have Patrick Mahomes or Deshaun. I think every other coach on the planet feels the same."

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