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Why CBS Sports expects 49ers QB Brock Purdy to regress in 2024

Jun 13, 2024 at 11:42 AM

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Garrett Podell of CBS Sports recently assessed the NFL landscape, identifying quarterbacks poised to improve or regress in 2024. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy fell into the latter group, with Podell predicting the third-year player might struggle to match last season's production.

Purdy set a single-season franchise record with 4,280 passing yards during his sophomore NFL season, and his 113.0 passer rating led the league. However, Podell believes that level of production might not be sustainable.

"Purdy averaged the most yards after catch per completion (6.6) and the most yards per pass attempts on screens (8.8) in large part to the production of teammates like 2023 NFL Offensive Player of the Year Christian McCaffrey, Pro Bowl receiver Deebo Samuel, All-Pro tight end George Kittle and receiver Brandon Aiyuk," Podell explained. "Those numbers could be volatile depending on the health and production of the 49ers' supporting cast coming off a long season that ended with a 25-22 overtime loss in the Super Bowl against the Chiefs."

Purdy's critics often use his talented supporting cast to diminish what the young quarterback has accomplished during his short time in the NFL, and it seems the CBS Sports writer is doing the same. However, he is correct that the 49ers benefited from relatively good health last season, with none of the above players missing significant time.

McCaffrey started all 16 games before sitting out the 49ers' Week 18 contest against the Los Angeles Rams. Aiyuk and Kittle also appeared in 16 games, while Samuel played 15.

San Francisco earned the NFC's top seed before winning two playoff games on the road to representing the conference in the Super Bowl.

"All of the aforementioned all-star talent surrounding Purdy put together a collectively healthy season," Podell continued. "Between the entire league now having a full season of tape on him as San Francisco's starting quarterback and a possible health regression by his supporting cast, Purdy will naturally take a step back from a production standpoint in 2024."

It is not mentioned that Purdy is participating in his first full offseason as a starter. The quarterback was buried on the depth chart during his rookie offseason after entering the NFL as the last overall pick in the draft. Last year, he was recovering from offseason surgery to repair the torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow.

"So for me, I had that taste in my mouth (from February's Super Bowl loss), and then get back into the gym, start slowly, working into it," Purdy said at the team's recent "State of the Franchise" event. "And then here, in OTAs, getting with Kyle (head coach Kyle Shanahan) and going over all the games that we played in, every play, and going over situational football and stuff, and taking that and actually going out on the field and running things and repping things, and throwing to the receivers.

"Last year, I didn't have that, so now that I'm able to attack those kinds of things, I feel like I've gotten better."

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