Rookie Brody Purdy has taken the NFL by storm since becoming the San Francisco 49ers starting quarterback in December.
The former Iowa State standout earned the title of “Mr. Irrelevant” after being selected by the 49ers with the final pick in the 2022 draft. But one scouting report sheds some light on a team’s level of interest in drafting the quarterback.
The Athletic obtained a scouting report that touched on Purdy’s positive attributes, as well as some of his potential downsides.
According to the report, a scout said Purdy was “very mature and experienced.” He was a four-year starter during his college football tenure.
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But a coach also pointed out his physical limitations. “Did not test well, limited athlete who has a maximal body,” the report said, with weaknesses being acknowledged as “limited arm, both in strength and throwing repertoire.”
“I don’t remember him moving like that at Iowa State, and he didn’t test well. He jumped 27 inches, which is terrible. He ran 4.85 (4.84). He’s got short arms, like really short, and he’s got small hands. He’s 6-1 and his arm is OK. The swing just wasn’t there. His short shuttle was OK -4.45 — that’s not exceptional,” the coach said.
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The 49ers previously drafted quarterback Trey Lance with the No. 3 pick in the 2021 draft. San Francisco appeared poised to hand the keys to the franchise to Lance for the 2022 season, and Purdy wasn’t expected to contribute this year.
Several months after drafting Purdy, the Niners decided to restructure veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s contract, agreeing to a one-year restricted deal to serve as Lance’s backup. But Lance suffered a season-ending injury in Week 2 and Garoppolo later went down with a foot injury, suddenly thrusting Purdy into the starting role.
Purdy has yet to lose a game since being named the starter. His next test comes on Sunday for the NFC Championship against the top-seeded Philadelphia Eagles. Purdy becomes the fifth rookie quarterback to start a conference championship game.
The coach who evaluated Purdy said the 23-year-old’s ability to process defensive schemes has contributed to his success.
“He processes a lot of information pre-snap because they make a lot of moves, switches, kills, alerts in that offense. It can be difficult just to snap the ball and know which way to deliver the ball. His composure late down — he hasn’t made too many bone mistakes – has been really impressive,” said the coach, who believes Purdy would be considered a second or third man today.
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Purdy has thrown for 1,374 yards, 13 touchdowns and four interceptions, with a 67.1 percent completion percentage during his nine-game NFL career.