49ers QB Purdy good, and then some, for a Mr. Irrelevant

  • icon
  • icon
  • icon
  • icon

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy is one of 24 rookie signal callers to have started playoff games. The last pick in last year’s draft – a so-called Mr. Irrelevant – was certainly not supposed to be in that position but he has helped the Niners draw within one step out reaching the Super Bowl.

The former Iowa State star has played well in two playoff wins so far. That’s not the norm for first-time postseason starters with minimal experience.

Andy Dalton started as a rookie in 2011 with Cincinnati against the Houston Texans, throwing for 257 yards, no TD’s and three interceptions. In 2000, Aaron Brooks started as a rookie (he spent the previous season with Packers with no playing time) in the Saints franchise’s first playoff victory, 31-24, over the St. Louis Rams.

Shaun King, the former Tulane star, entered week 12 of his rookie season in 1999 as the starter when Trent Dilfer broke his clavicle. King won 4-of-5 starts to end the regular season including a 20-6 win in week 17 over the Bears that secured the NFC Central title.

Although he was far from brillant, King helped Tampa Bay squeeze by Washington, 14-13, in the divisional playoffs. In the NFC Championship Game, the Bucs fell to the Greatest Show on Turf in St. Louis, 11-6. A catch by Tampa Bay’s Burt Emmanuel was ruled incompete after replay with 30 seconds remaining deep in Rams territory. King may have led Tampa as a rookie to the big game otherwise.

Not just winning but thriving, Purdy is the first rookie to have four touchdowns (three passes and one run) in a playoff win. Against Seattle in a Wild Card weekend playoff contest, his 332 yards passing are the most by for the Niners in the postseason since Joe Montana;s 357 yards) in Super Bowl XXIII.

A Dolphins fan as a kid, Purdy wears jersey #13 to honor his hero Dan Marino.

Purdy earned $782,812 for the 2022 regualr season. Interestingly, he can earn a significant chunk more by comparison in the playoffs if San Francisco goes all the way.

The players on wild card weekend winners receive $46,500 and the divisional round winners another $46,500 while the conference champions get $69,000. The Super Bowl winners will receive a bonus of $157,000 while the losers will have to settle for $82,000. Practice squad players collect $11,500 per playoff week.

Eagles standout starter Jalen Hurts, age 24, and Purdy, 23, are the youngest QB combo to meet in the NFC Championship Game. Only twice has a Super Bowl-winning QB been under age 30. Patrick Mahomes was 24 when the Chiefs downed the 49ers while Nick Foles was 29 when he surprisingly led the Eagles to glory in a manner somewhat similar to what Purdy hopes to accomplish.

If Hurts wins the Super Bowl, he will be 24 years, 189 days old, second only to Mahomes (24 years, 138 days. Purdy would be the youngest.

As for predicting which 2023 NFL draft prospect has the ingredients and intangibles to be next year’s version of Brock Purdy? Good luck with that. I’ll take a stab at it though. He wore jersey #13 for the Georgia Bulldogs and posted 29-3 record as a starter. Stetson Bennett should not be dismissed after what he accomlished in college.

In past two seasons, he has thrown for 56 touchdowns and 14 interceptions while leading the Dawgs to a pair of national titles. He was coached by offensive coordinator Todd Monken, who spent eight years in the NFL inclding four as an offensive coordinator.

Bennett, who is expected to be a third day pick like Purdy, will be ready for the challenge.

  • < PREV One step from the Super Bowl, Eagles loaded with Louisiana connections
  • NEXT > Trennis Grant leads Dillard on inaugural baseball journey

Rene Nadeau


Born and raised in the New Orleans area, Rene Nadeau has been involved in sports ever since his earliest memories. Rene played basketball, wrestled, ran track, and was an All-District running back in football at John F. Kennedy High School. He went on to be a member of the LSU football program, developing a passion for the game in even…

Read more >