Brock Purdy ‘earned’ himself the Mr. Irrelevant nickname after the San Francisco 49ers selected him with the last No. 262 pick in the NFL Draft. However, before he got picked by the Niners, Purdy had to deal with a lot of other derogatory assessments. One final draft grade by an NFL team was particularly unflattering, though.
Limited Arm that Lacks Strength
Bruce Feldman from The Athletic looked at a scouting report written before the NFL Draft in which a team gives Purdy a bold two-word assessment reading “No Interest.”
That conclusion might seem too harsh now after Purdy has impressed the Niners and guided them to the NFC Championship Game against the Philadelphia Eagles. However, before the draft, Purdy was an underwhelming prospect for most teams.
In the scouting report The Athletic reviewed, Purdy was described as “not a very good athlete” who “had a limited arm.” According to the report, his arm lacked strength and he had a limited “throw repertoire.”
But this was nothing new to the 23-year-old. He had heard these demeaning comments for years. University of Alabama coach Nick Saban even went as far as saying directly to Purdy that he was “below average in height,” his arm strength was “whatever” and his accuracy was average.
Before the draft started, the most people could say of Purdy was that he was a “very experienced college quarterback.” He was also lauded for being a good game manager that was particularly adept at routine plays. The report The Athletic obtained also read that, as plays extended, Purdy worked really well “through his progressions.”
People Undervalued Purdy’s Mental Ability
Interestingly, when the same coach who wrote that report was asked what he thought of Purdy now, he said that he didn’t remember Purdy “moving like that” in college football.
He went on to say that Purdy’s tests were not good either. The Niners quarterback jumped just 27 inches, which the coach called “terrible” and ran 4.84, not very impressive too. The coach also said that Purdy has “like really short” arms and small hands.
One reason the coach thought Purdy was excelling in the Bay Area was that the Niners rely so much on the pre-snap motion which the coach said helped Purdy process information faster.
The unnamed coach added that everyone undervalued Purdy’s agility and his mental strength, except for San Francisco. He said that the Niners were perfect for the quarterback, as they put a lot of attention on those two things. According to the coach, that allowed Purdy to “operate and play-action and boot and screen and manage the game.”
Sitting only one win from a Super Bowl start in his rookie season, the first rookie that can do that, Purdy has proved many people wrong with his performances. The mental side of his game seems to be second to none, and the young quarterback can show that once again on Sunday when he will see the odds stacked against him. However, we have seen enough to know that’s when he is at his best.