Mr. Irrelevant to Mr. Relevant? The story of Brock Purdy

San Francisco rookie quarterback, Brock Purdy celebrating after throwing a first down to tight end George Kittle.

Sergio Estrada

San Francisco rookie quarterback, Brock Purdy celebrating after throwing a first down to tight end George Kittle.

Sawyer Kehn, Staff Writer

In 2021, The San Francisco 49ers traded up to the third overall pick to grab Trey Lance, who they hoped would be able to levitate their franchise to the next level. Finally bringing them their first Super Bowl championship since their 49-26 win over the Los Angeles Chargers back in 1995. Trey Lance sat behind quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo for his rookie season. Garoppolo led the 49ers to the NFC championship where they fell to the eventual Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams. Going into the offseason the 49ers extended their superstar wideout Deebo Samuel, named Trey Lance the starting quarterback for 2022, and had a decent draft considering they had no top picks, capping this draft off by taking quarterback Brock Purdy with the 262nd pick. Purdy being drafted last overall in the draft gave him the title “Mr. Irrelevant,” something that had been a tradition since the 1976 NFL draft.

The 2022 season started quite poorly for the 49ers, losing their first game in a rainy bout against the Chicago Bears. Then, the next week something even worse happened, in week 2 in a divisional matchup against the Seattle Seahawks, Trey Lance went down with a broken ankle. The young quarterback was ruled out for the rest of the season, the team turned to Jimmy Garoppolo to try and salvage the season that had started so poorly. With the season progressing poorly, the 49ers decided that they would try to improve their roster to help them improve from their 3-4 record. On October 20th, the 49ers acquired superstar running back Christian McCaffrey from the Carolina Panthers, for 2023 second, third, and fourth-round picks, along with a 2024 fifth-round selection. Since that point the Niners were on a hot streak, winning every game without a problem. Then in week 13, the problems started to reappear, when their quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a season-ending left foot break.

The 49ers fans were devastated, they watched their team go on a hot win streak and were making strides to win the division. However, rookie quarterback and “Mr. Irrelevant himself, Brock Purdy, stepped in for the injured Garoppolo and the offense didn’t miss a beat. Leading the team to a 33 – 17 victory over the Miami Dolphins. After this game there was speculation that the 49ers would trade for a quarterback to fill Garoppolo’s shoes. However, the team shocked the NFL world when they named Purdy to the starting role against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, led by fellow late round pick, and well known “GOAT,” Tom Brady. In his first NFL start Burdy was pinned against the “Greatest of all time,” what seemed like a cruel fate to others, Purdy saw it as an opportunity to prove himself. In a shocking blowout the 49ers took down Brady, 35-7. “Mr. Irrelevant” was starting to look like Mr. Relevant, leading the 49ers to a win streak ending the season with a 13-4 record and the 2 seed in the NFC conference.

Purdy was pitted against the divisional rival Seattle Seahawks. Many doubted Purdy’s ability to play in a playoff setting, however in a convincing 41 – 23 win over the Seattle Seahawks, Purdy once again proved the haters wrong. Nobody expected “Mr. Irrelevant” to be able to succeed, while beating all of the odds Brock Purdy has beyond passed expectations and proven that no matter what title you’re given, you can succeed.