Brock Purdy was always wanted by the San Francisco 49ers despite being selected last in the 2022 NFL Draft, and former champion Dennis Brown has credited their chief scouts
The San Francisco 49ers front office has received a lot of deserved praise in recent seasons, with the trade for Christian McCaffrey and the decision to select Brock Purdy with the very last pick of the 2022 NFL Draft two of their greatest successes.
The Niners knew what they were getting with McCaffrey, but even he has exceeded expectations since leaving the Carolina Panthers for San Francisco. The running back who has scored 25 touchdowns this season was named Offensive Player of the Year on Thursday, and was also in the running for NFL MVP.
But franchise quarterback Purdy has zero expectations following him to the Niners, and fans didn’t know anything about him when he was forced into the starting line-up last season. The Niners were very much hoping that Trey Lance would be their quarterback for the future, but Purdy has performed so well that they traded him to the Dallas Cowboys just two seasons after selecting him third-overall, and even giving up their first-round pick in 2023 in order to do so.
Purdy’s story from ‘Mr. Irrelevant’ to Super Bowl hopeful has been inspiring, but it turns out that Niners scout Steve Slowik was watching the quarterback a whole season before he declared for the draft. Former San Francisco champion Dennis Brown believes that Slowik deserves more credit for finding the hidden talent, and is completely invested in Purdy.
READ MORE: UK NFL Super Bowl fans can tap into American coverage with simple 99p pass
READ MORE: Brock Purdy’s salary, NFL Draft fall and scouting report that led to Super Bowl rise
“You talk about a diamond in the rough, I mean, whatever a scout saw way back when and they said, ‘listen, with our last pick, we’re gonna take this quarterback.’ And I’m sure the thought was he could be a good scout team quarterback and maybe we can develop him and maybe he can come in and help us sometimes,” Brown told Mirror Sport.
“I can guarantee you no one said, ‘Hey, you know what, this Brock Purdy guy’s gonna take us to a Super Bowl, or he’s gonna take us to an NFC championship game.’ So his story is amazing. It’s amazing. And here’s the deal. He’s not flashy. He is a team leader, but he’s not loud, he’s not a vocal guy. He’s not out there saying all these crazy things. He just takes care of business. He’s very grounded.”
General manager John Lynch opened up about their pursuit of Purdy last year, explaining how although it may seem as if they got very lucky with their final selection in 2022, they had been keen on working with Brock for some time. “They probably took a bucket of eight, nine guys and came out very convicted that Brock Purdy was a guy they wanted to work with, whether it be draft him late or as a priority [undrafted] free agent,” Lynch said to San Francisco radio station KNBR in 2023.
For all the latest on news, politics, sports, and showbiz from the USA, go to The Mirror US.
After Slowik kept eyes on Purdy throughout his junior year at Iowa State, he became a real target for the Niners during his final season at college. As the 2022 draft crept up, responsibilities were handed over to new quarterbacks coach Brian Griese and his assistant, Klay Kubiak.
“As we got down to the end [of the draft], you start actually calling these free agents before the draft is over: ‘If you don’t get drafted, we would love the opportunity to work with you as a free agent.’ You’re really recruiting,” Lynch added. “That’s where it was with Brock. We had gone through our checklist of what we wanted on our roster, needed on our roster.
“So, we got there to Mr. Irrelevant and we all looked at each other and said, ‘Why chance it? We really like Brock.’ By this time, Griese and Kubiak had done a lot of work with him via [Zoom meetings], and just like Steve Slowik, had become convicted via the talks with (Iowa coach) Matt Campbell.
“We said. ‘Alright, let’s not leave it to chance.’ I know the Mr. Irrelevant [nickname] is cute and all that but let’s make him part of us. Man, I’m sure glad we did.”