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“Mr. Irrelevant” Will Be Relevant Sooner than Later

The San Francisco 49ers selected Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy as “Mr. Irrelevant” with the 262nd overall pick In the 2022 NFL Draft. A shocking but perhaps not so shocking draft choice.

How did Brock Purdy become this year’s “Mr. Irrelevant” and why did the 49ers draft him? In almost every case the last pick in any NFL draft does not make or compete for a roster spot unless there is something special about them. In a recent press conference, John Lynch mentioned where he thought Purdy would be selected in the NFL Draft.

“Purdy, I thought he was probably going to be a fourth-rounder or a fifth-rounder,” Lynch said.

This comment indicates the organization saw value to draft Purdy two rounds later than they originally evaluated. So what did the 49ers see in Purdy to give him a roster spot and what is his potential role in 2022?

Brock Purdy’s Place In College Football History – An Underrated Career

Since 1956, there have been 250 college football players to score more than seventy-five total touchdowns. Did you know Brock Purdy is one of them? In four years at Iowa State, he scored an impressive 100 total touchdowns, placing him top-80 all time.

Purdy competed all four years at Iowa State University including his freshman year, where he took over as the starter. In total, Purdy completed 67.7% of his passes for 12,170 yards and 81 touchdown passes to go along with 1,177 rushing yards and 19 rushing touchdowns. He also demonstrated ball security, throwing only 33 interceptions in his collegiate career.

How Iowa State Football Became Relevant

Iowa State is not considered a “juggernaut” in college football. However, Purdy led the Cyclones to a consistent top-25 ranking throughout his tenure. In Week 14 of the 2020 college football season, Iowa State cracked the top ten, ranking tenth in the country. The following week they jumped to the eighth seed in college football and eventually finished ninth to end their 2020 campaign.

Preseason poll rankings are a huge discussion point in the college football world. The Cyclones entered the 2021 season ranked seventh, the highest in program history. A significant accomplishment to Purdy’s resume.

How Did “Mr. Irrelevant” Fair In The Preseason?

The young 22-year-old rookie appeared in all three preseason games completing just over 62% of his passes for 346 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Throughout the preseason, Purdy delivered passes on-time with good ball placement which is a staple of the Shanahan offense.

He flashed with multiple tight window throws in the 49ers’ third preseason game connecting with wideout Jauan Jennings over a deep zone linebacker and underneath two high safeties.

What a throw by Brock Purdy and what a snag by Jauan Jennings #49ers — Christian (@ChristianR_Vill) August 26, 2022

Later in the game, Purdy hit Ross Dwelley on a seam route in between three defenders.

Nice throw from QB Brock Purdy to TE Ross Dwelley. #49ers — Rob Lowder (@Rob_Lowder) August 26, 2022

Ultimately, the 49ers were enamored with Purdy’s play on the field but also loved his toughness, grit, calmness, experience, and intangibles. John Lynch recently elaborated on this exact notion.

“Brock came in from day one and just kind of showed a grasp for our offense,” Lynch said. “It wasn’t too big. I think his experience, this is a guy who’s played a lot of football. Just command and presence and when he steps in that huddle and it’s his huddle and he’s not afraid to throw into small windows, there’s just a lot to like. He just earned a spot on our team.”

Could Brock Purdy Become QB2 On The 49ers?

One main reason the 49ers drafted Purdy is to add quarterback depth. As of today, Purdy remains QB3 on the depth chart as the 49ers seek a trade partner for Jimmy Garoppolo. The backup quarterback could be dealt within the first weeks as many teams lose quarterbacks to injury, thus vaulting Purdy to QB2.

Despite having a solid collegiate career, Purdy fell to the bottom of the 2022 NFL Draft and wound up on the 49ers. His story is still in question, but we could see him as the long-term backup to starter Trey Lance for the foreseeable future.



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