The trajectory of Brock Purdy is unprecedented.
His ability to settle in and take on the starting quarterback role near immediately stood in stark contrast to the expectations of his Mr. Irrelevant, No. 262 draft slot.
Longtime 49ers tight end Brent Jones has been in awe of what he’s seen, discussing Purdy’s ascension on Murph & Mac on Friday morning:
I’ve never seen it. I’ve never seen it in my lifetime and I’ve been a fan of the NFL probably going back to the days being seven years old in 1970. There’s never been a rookie last round pick, right — the only rookie that I can say that had any impact at the quarterback position to this level of significance was Dan Marino. But certainly not a third string, Mr. Irrelevant kid.
And I’ve said this before, you always hear the old adage, ‘Hey, be prepared, you never know when your number is going to be called.’
And yes, we’ve seen third-string rookie quarterbacks over the years, ‘be prepared’ and it’s been ugly. I mean, it’s been absolutely ugly. Nobody with the presence of Brock Purdy, and what he’s done. It’s been truly astounding.
Now, Jones probably could have mentioned Ben Roethlisberger, who made and won a playoff game with the Pittsburgh Steelers in a rookie year he went 13-0 in the regular season.
But his point is more about the pedigree and expectations, or lack thereof, for Purdy. No one’s exceeded them in quite the way he has.
He’s been a fan of the gunslinging the rookie’s displayed, too. Murph asked Jones about a comment from Herm Edwards, who said all Purdy needs to do is drive the speed limit.
Jones said that might be a bit counterintuitive.
“When I hear that I think of game manager and Brock Purdy has been anything but,” Jones said. “He really has been anything but. The 49ers have called plenty of pass plays. They’ve done multiple things reaching deep into the playbook. It has not bothered him one iota. So I understand what firms saying but I also think part of this kid’s success has been times where he’s been aggressive.”
Purdy has a chance to join rare company with a win against the Cowboys.
A win would make him the fifth rookie quarterback to ever reach the conference championship round, along with Roethlisberger, Mark Sanchez, Joe Flacco and Shaun King. All of those players, though, were first- or second-round selections.
None of them made the Super Bowl, but it should be noted that all, except, funnily enough, Sanchez — who threw 12 TDs and 20 INT in the regular season — threw more interceptions than touchdowns in the playoffs. We’ll see how Purdy plays on Sunday, but he currently has 3 TDs, no interceptions and one rushing TD.
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