One of the most critical parts of being a successful NFL quarterback is winning over the locker room, making sure teammates believe in the guy commanding the huddle. Only days removed from his first significant NFL action, San Francisco 49ers rookie quarterback Brock Purdy, the 2022 NFL Draft's last overall pick at 262nd, has achieved that feat.
The seventh-round draft pick out of Iowa State replaced Jimmy Garoppolo, , and he performed admirably: completing 25 of 37 passes for 210 passing yards, two touchdowns and an interception in the 49ers' 33-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins.
Week 14 marks Purdy's first time going through a week of practice with the starters, but according to teammates, he is already communicating like one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, five-time NFL MVP and two-time Super Bowl champion Peyton Manning.
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"You would think he's been in the league 15 years," All-Pro 49ers left tackle Trent Williams said, via NFL Media. "If you're talking, he'll say 'shut your ass up'. He ain't no timid rookie feeling his way around. He will get on your ass. You would think he's like Peyton Manning or something."
Like late-career Manning, Purdy's passes didn't travel very far on Sunday, but they got the job done in key spots. His average pass length was 5.4 yards downfield, which would be shortest by any qualified quarterback over full season. However, Purdy completed 11 of 13 throws on third down for 81 yards and a touchdown, equating to a 118.3 passer rating. That would be the fourth-highest passer rating on third down in the NFL this season behind only the Dolphins' Tua Tagovailoa (137.8), the Bengals' Joe Burrow (124.1), and the Seahawks' Geno Smith (122.0).
Being able to distribute the football to playmakers like running back Christian McCaffrey, wide receiver Deebo Samuel, tight end George Kittle, and wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk has Purdy in the perfect position to play game manager. That's a huge benefit for the rookie as he won't have to do too much heavy lifting on his own while going up against Manning's archrival, Tom Brady, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week.