Written by Richard Joel
Irrelevant definition: not connected with or relevant to something, not important.
Brock Purdy who was drafted #262 in the 7th round of the 2022 NFL was thrust into the spotlight when he was crowned “Mr. Irrelevant.” Not a title most would want to wear, but Purdy with advice from his agent Kyle Stronginon the last draft day was told, “you’re going to want to be drafted, one you’re wanted and they used a draft to choose you and two you will always be able to have that you were drafted.” And just like that, Brock Purdy became a “relevant story” despite his “irrelevant” tag. The coverage and stories filled the airwaves on his draft number and his title. If he had been drafted with the #212 or #210 or even #64 his name and his story would not have made the headlines. He would just be another low level draft making the big game as a starter. But here we are…it’s game time!
Brock Purdy said “I don’t know what my future looks like but I’m going to give it a shot in the NFL, if it works out, great and if not God’s going to take care of me, maybe some doubt at that moment ” and his Dad said “give it your best shot you never know what can happen.” Sure enough I get drafted last and I was all in…if drafted he would give it his best shot.”
Most players let alone quarterbacks drafted last are destined to the practice squad and if lucky enough make the team as third stringers. Never seeing much playing time- let alone start.
To make his point, where Purdy was drafted didn’t seem to matter to him. He is level headed and had a plan – part of this was to stay true to himself, maintain the same work ethic day in and day out and earn the respect from his teammates by how he carried himself on and off the field. “Humble and authentic” were words many of his teammates used when I asked what qualities he possessed that had you believing in him. Purdy said he “I studied my butt off with the playbook and every rep I got at camp and practice, I just wanted to make the most of it and if I got cut, it is what it is and knew God would have a plan for me in my life, if I made the team, great lets’ keep going, and that’s been the case, I made the team and lets’ keep going.”
General Manager John Lynch was asked about the analytics on a player drafted last as “Mr. Irrelevant” are never very good to get to this point, Lynch said, “I think he has bucked that trend, you know, shame on everyone for waiting so long including us, I think he has proven he should have been drafted a lot higher, I am just grateful we have him I really am.”
Coach Kyle Shanahan said, “they gave him a 4th round grade… but they had a lot of holes they had to fill first…and they hoped he wouldn’t get drafted so they could get him in free agency but when the 7th round came they drafted him as they didn’t want to take a chance they would lose him in free agency”
There have been several players drafted as “Mr. Irrelevant” who went on to either start in or win a Super Bowl Championship. The winners were starting placekicker Ryan Succop, Super Bowl LV champion with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and fullback Jim Finn Super Bowl XLII champion with the New York Giants, Marty Moore who was the first ‘Mr. Irrelevant to play in a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots but lost to the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXI, but eventually won a championship in Super Bowl XXXVI with the Patriots. The only “Mr. Irrelevant” quarterback to start a Super Bowl was Jake Delhomme who lost to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVIII.
On February 11th 2024, two Academic all-America Quarterbacks will face off in Super Bowl LVIII when Brock Purdy leads the San Francisco 49ers against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. Purdy won’t make history as the First “Mr. Irrelevant to play, start or win a Super Bowl but he does have an opportunity to make history as the first “Mr. Irrelevant” to start and win the Super Bowl at the Quarterback position. What an underdog story this would be! One for the ages!
It seems that since Rookie training camp, OTA’s and preseason of his rookie year he has taken the job seriously and given it his all to make the most of his opportunity. Much had to happen for him to step in during the 2022 season. Trey Lance suffered a season ending injury, followed by Jimmy Garappolo. Purdy was then thrust into the Miami game and never looked back. His preparation, work ethic and mindset got his coaches and teammatesbelieving rather quickly.
San Francisco Defensive Lineman Nick Bosa when asked when did you start believing Purdy was the one that could lead you to the Super Bowl, he said, “pretty early, he came into the Miami game, we were not happy about losing our starting quarterback, thought season was over, played great in that game, came back played well against the Bucs and from that point on, how could I not be confident, he’s a humble guy, such a good professional, such a good leader” and 49ers Wide Receiver, Jauan Jennings said “ you can see how much he cares, you can see it on his face, whenever he makes a mistake he owns up to each and every time, even when it’s not his fault he owns up to it, makes us want to go out and play hard…he doesn’t care what others think, each and every day he comes in and does his job.”
With so much on the line in Super Bowl LVIII Purdy said with all of the media distractions, “Whenever he has down time, how can I study, how can I be watching some film on the bus ride back and forth or when you’re in the hotel, take care of your body, hey I have to play a game here, for 3 hours how can I be my best.”
On Sunday February 11th, 2024 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas Nevada, the lights will be shining bright on Brock Purdy and the 49ers as he tries to erase the “Mr. Irrelevant” crown and lead his highly talented team to victory in Super Bowl LVII and be crowned Champions. Standing in his way, two-time winning Super Bowl champion Patrick Mahomes and the equally talented and reigning Super Bowl champions, Kansas City Chiefs. It’s a dual in the dessert that should highlight the best two teams left standing…history will be made today!