Brock Stock: 49ers QB Rising

11/29/2023 Brock Stock: 49ers QB Rising

By: Marissa Kasch

From Mr. Irrelevant to Pro Bowl Ready: How the 49ers Struck Gold With Brock Purdy

I’ll never forget picking up Brock Purdy in a moment of crisis in one of my fantasy leagues last year. I remember worrying about the game and how he would perform. When he finally took the field, my worries melted away. I realized (I think with the rest of America) that this guy can play. Purdy continued his hot start as a rookie, leading the Niners to a strong finish. A finish so strong they ended up on the brink of the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, Purdy suffered a torn UCL during the NFC Championship game versus the Eagles and was not cleared until the first week of training camp. Now, he’s looking for revenge, for a chance to prove himself with no setbacks this time, and his underdog status has the Niners stacking blowout wins once again.


Mr. Irrelevant

Purdy hasn’t always been perceived as the successful athlete he is now. He was once known as Mr. Irrelevant. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, Mr. Irrelevant refers to the guy selected with the last pick of the NFL Draft. And Mr. Irrelevant Week has even become a charity event focused on celebrating the underdogs who wear that crown as former draft-ending picks. The term was coined in 1976, although it’s been applied since the draft’s inception in 1936. Purdy was the 49ers’ last pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, and he embraced the nickname. His hallmark as the 262nd pick in 2022 yielded low expectations in San Francisco, especially one year after the Niners selected QB Trey Lance at No. 3 overall. Purdy’s size — a generous 6’1, 220 lbs. He’s among the smallest of NFL quarterbacks. He was also a 22-year-old rookie when he started. At the time, it didn’t seem fathomable that San Francisco even needed a quarterback behind Lance and incumbent Jimmy Garoppolo. So, 49ers fans kept their expectations at an all time low for Purdy.


Purdy Good in San Francisco

Luckily for Niners fans, Mr. Irrelevant didn’t stay irrelevant for long. In fact, he became relevant pretty quickly. Purdy led San Francisco to seven straight wins after his first start last season. This season, the Niners are 8-3, and Purdy is now 16-4 in his career. He has a completion percentage of 70.2% this season and has thrown for 19 touchdowns through 11 games. On the ground, he has rushed for 122 yards and two touchdowns. Most importantly, Purdy is a capable quarterback who knows how to get it to the right guy. And on a team like the Niners, with Aiyuk, CMC, Deebo and Kittle, the right guy is never far.


A Humble Lifestyle

Purdy’s salary has been a topic of discussion in the NFL this year after he revealed he still lives with a roommate and drives a Toyota Sequoia SUV. His salary is $870,000 and ranks as the lowest starting QB salary in the NFL. In fact, many NFL quarterbacks earn Purdy’s salary in less than one game. Lamar Jackson earns it in 11 minutes. Patrick Mahomes in 16 minutes. Daniel Jones in 19 minutes. Twenty starting QBs exceed Purdy’s salary in just one game. Though he still makes almost a million dollars, Purdy doesn’t live a lavish lifestyle.


Red Hot Revenge

Revenge is a dish best served cold? Not to Brock Purdy. He’s looking for redemption, and he’s coming in hot. With Week 13 already upon us, the Niners sit atop the NFC West with a two-game lead over the Seahawks. However, San Francisco certainly has some challenges left on its schedule. The 49ers will travel to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles this weekend in a rematch of last year’s disappointing NFC Championship Game. Then, they’ll face the Seahawks again the next weekend and the Ravens on Christmas Day.


Though these are challenging opponents, Brock’s stock has never been higher. He has a chip on his shoulder and he’s playing like a man with something to prove. Purdy ranks top-10 in every passing category, and he’s in line for a Pro Bowl nod in Year 2. He’s already becoming one of the best Mr. Irrelevant players of all-time.


The 49ers are loaded with all the right pieces, but Brock is the rock that holds the foundation together. It’s time for this Mr. Irrelevant underdog story to become undeniably relevant.


Photo: Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images