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Ed McCaffrey: Brock Purdy is ‘absolutely’ a franchise QB for the 49ers

Jun 14, 2024 at 9:27 AM

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San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have long searched for a franchise quarterback. They traded for Jimmy Garoppolo in 2017 and then gave up significant draft capital in 2021 to move up and select Trey Lance.

Neither of those quarterbacks was the answer Shanahan and Lynch sought. Instead, they struck gold with Brock Purdy, selecting him with the last overall draft pick in 2022. While they initially thought the young passer might be a key depth piece, Purdy soon established himself as the best quarterback on the roster after injuries forced him into the starting lineup.

Next year, the 49ers must pay Purdy like a franchise quarterback. He will likely command one of the largest contracts in NFL history, especially given the recent surge in quarterback salaries.

Former NFL wide receiver Ed McCaffrey, the father of current 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey, recently spoke to Robert Griffin III. When asked if he felt Purdy was a franchise quarterback, McCaffrey quickly responded, "Oh, absolutely. He's going to be playing for the 49ers for a long, long time."

Best known for his time with the Denver Broncos, McCaffrey played the 1994 season with the 49ers, winning a Super Bowl while catching passes from quarterback Steve Young. He went on to haul in passes from John Elway, so the former player knows what great quarterback play looks like.

"Your ability to process and anticipate and react, I don't think you can fully tell that until a quarterback gets in an NFL game, and then you start to see it," McCaffrey continued. "And some players are better NFL players than college players because they have that skill set that lends itself to the NFL game. I think Brock has that. I think he has intelligence.

"He's more mobile than what you would think. And I think that was noticeable last season. He got out of a lot of pressures, rolled left, rolled right, stepped up in the pocket, kept his eyes downfield, threw with anticipation, goes through his progression quickly."

After seeing his son, Christian, named the cover athlete for Madden NFL 25, McCaffrey likened the transition from college to the NFL to the difficulty levels in a video game.

"You get into an NFL game and it's the fastest the game's ever been played," McCaffrey shared. "And so if we want to compare to a video game, if you're playing on [level] six or seven or eight, if you play for a great team and a great conference in college, you got to put it up to ten or maybe eleven? And now, that's the NFL game, and not everybody can make that leap."

McCaffrey clearly views Purdy as a quarterback capable of making that leap. The third-year player has quickly shown that, displaying the poise and leadership of a savvy veteran while guiding the 49ers to two NFC Championships and a Super Bowl.

McCaffrey's endorsement underscores the 49ers' confidence in Purdy as their franchise quarterback, believing he can be the player to guide the team to a championship.

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