49ers qb brock purdy hovers almost uncharted

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Brock Purdy might be Mr. Irrelevant, but the San Francisco QB is as relevant as anyone in football.

In three games since replacing injured starter Jimmy Garoppolo, the final pick of the 2022 NFL Draft is 3-0, throwing for 612 yards, six touchdowns and one interception. He’s doing things most QBs haven’t at the start of their careers.

In his first start, Purdy outplayed seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady, widely considered the greatest QB of all time. The Tampa Bay QB is the prime example of a late-round QB finding success. Brady was drafted in the sixth round (199th overall) by the New England Patriots in 2000.

Outside of Brady, NFL history includes only a handful of QBs taken beyond the 125th pick who became Super Bowl winners. No one is saying Purdy will go on to be the next Brady, but his success is one of the NFL’s biggest stories in 2022.

After the 2022 NFL Draft, CBS Sports’ evaluation of Purdy — the 262nd pick — could not have been more lukewarm.

“Longtime starter in college who got less effective as his career wore on. Rhythm passer with good accuracy when he’s not disturbed in the pocket and despite minimal athleticism he creates when things break down. Arm is average.”

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan deserves major credit for Purdy’s development. He gets the most from offensive skill players — a talent that dates to his time as an NFL offensive coordinator. Shanahan helped the Atlanta Falcons lead the league in scoring in 2016 en route to a Super Bowl loss to Brady.

With Thursday’s win over Seattle, the 49ers clinched the NFC West and at least one playoff home game.

After the game, Shanahan could barely contain his enthusiasm for Mr. Irrelevant.

“He’s definitely one of the most poised rookies I’ve ever had,” he told the media.

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