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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Does PFF’s ranking of 49ers QB Brock Purdy surprise you?

May 21, 2024 at 8:36 AM

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Trevor Sikkema of Pro Football Focus recently ranked all 32 starting NFL quarterbacks based on the analytics site's data and his own opinions. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes stands alone in Tier 1, aptly named "Mahomes," taking the top spot in Sikkema's ranking.

Tier 2 features three "do-it-all" quarterbacks: Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens, Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals, and Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills. These players are considered the "elite" quarterbacks of the league.

Then you have Tier 3, labeled "postseason-caliber" quarterbacks, which includes the next six quarterbacks in the ranking. However, you won't find San Francisco 49ers' third-year passer Brock Purdy in this section either. Instead, Purdy is placed in Tier 4, labeled "the melting pot of starters."

Purdy ranks No. 13 overall on the list, following Jordan Love of the Green Bay Packers and Trevor Lawrence of the Jacksonville Jaguars. While this might seem low for the quarterback who mounted two playoff comebacks and nearly secured the 49ers' sixth franchise championship last season, Sikkema believes it is a fair placement.

"I'm fairly comfortable with Purdy's ranking on this list," Sikkema wrote. "His consistent success — albeit in a very talented offense — over the past two years should not go unrecognized. His 78.3% adjusted completion rate was a top-five number in 2023, which speaks to his timing and accuracy. And his 5.4% big-time throw percentage shows that, even with below-average arm talent, he is a good enough anticipator to make things happen."

That "below-average arm talent" was enough to earn Purdy an impressive 98.3 Pro Football Focus grade on throws 20 or more yards downfield, second only to C.J. Stroud of the Houston Texans. Purdy completed nearly 58 percent of his passes for 1,060 yards, 12 touchdowns, and only one interception on such throws.

Purdy's 87.4 overall grade last season was a career-high and ranked sixth among all NFL quarterbacks. Still, Sikkema doesn't see the same athleticism in Purdy as in other star passers.

The analyst continued, "Purdy is also a very confident player and pushes the ball, which battles the 'game manager' label he often gets; he's not just a dink-and-dunk passer. Does he have the athletic talent of some other players? No, but he's damn good at his job, regardless."
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