If you don’t follow football, you might not know why San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy making it to the Super Bowl this weekend is a super big deal. Purdy, only in his second year in the NFL, was selected dead last in the 2022 NFL draft, earning him the nickname “Mr. Irrelevant.” Even in the pros, there’s a playground stigma that comes with being picked last for a team, and in his case, every team. But Purdy let that roll off his back.
“When I got drafted last, did I freak out? Did I panic? No,” Purdy said. “It’s easy to, but more than anything, I was just grateful. I had a grateful mindset. And I had an opportunity to go play for the 49ers.”
So why was Purdy picked last? Well, despite being a standout at Iowa State and leading the school to the most football wins ever in a season, the quarterback wasn’t considered a hot pick for the NFL because of his small size. When he finally was drafted by the 49ers, he was the third-string quarterback his rookie year, not expected to play much if any at all.
Then both the first and second string QBs got injured, and Mr. Irrelevant got his shot, when it was most important. He shone on the field, leading his team to the AFC Championship, which they lost to the Philadelphia Eagles. But Purdy’s stellar performances have continued this season, and now he’s leading his team all the way to the Super Bowl, the youngest quarterback to do so in 49ers history. Brock Purdy is now 17-4 in his short NFL career.
Purdy credits his faith in God for his come-from-behind success. “God is faithful,” Purdy said. “He’s never done with a story, even when you think he is.”
Brock Purdy’s Faith
Faith isn’t new to Purdy: in college he was very active with his church’s college ministry and with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. His faith background helps him put the fame and fortune of football stardom in perspective and keeps him grounded, too.
“I’ve never tried to hold on to the football life tightly,” Purdy said recently. “I’ve held it pretty loosely. And see what God has in store. I’ve stayed faithful to him and he’s taken me to places I could never have imagined.”
Despite Purdy’s success, he has plenty of critics: not everyone loves an underdog story. Some people call him a “game manager” because he is not a one-man show like some quarterbacks. But Purdy seems content to be part of a winning offense, and not the only man who makes touchdowns for the 49ers. And hey…it’s obviously working!
Brock Purdy, A Team Player
Former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher told the UPI that he thinks Purdy’s critics are just plain wrong.
“People call him a game manager and that’s so naive,” Cowher said. “If you run a Shanahan offense, you have to process a lot of information. He gives you a lot of things to read, progression-wise. Brock Purdy can not only process information, but he makes the right decisions and he is very accurate with the football. He is not just a game manager. He is a game winner.”
His teammates agree that however he’s doing it, he’s doing it well.