Brock Purdy

Whitner declares Purdy should be compared to Brady, not Montana

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Brock Purdy has placed himself firmly in the MVP discussion with his performance during the 2023 NFL season, posting gaudy efficiency statistics that rank among the best quarterback seasons in league history.

In this week's edition of "Hitner's Hot Take," former 49ers All-Pro Donte Whitner makes the case that it's time to reserve the Purdy comparisons for just one quarterback, arguably the greatest player to ever play in the league.

"I think the MVP award for Brock Purdy is in the bag, and it's time to stop making comparisons to Joe Montana and just make comparisons to the greatest of all time, Tom Brady," Whitner declared.

"In 2000, Tom Brady was the fourth-string quarterback for the New England Patriots. And in 2001, after Drew Bledsoe went down with an injury, the rest was history. I think the same is going to happen for Mr. Brock Purdy.

"This is where the comparisons between Tom Brady and Brock Purdy start. Tom Brady was a sixth-round pick, the 199th pick overall with zero expectations -- similar to Brock Purdy. He was the last pick in the 2022 draft, Mr. Irrelevant. Zero expectations."

Whitner then detailed the similarities between Purdy's red-hot start and the early days of Brady's career in New England, citing the pair's uncanny ability to elevate the playmakers around them.

"Tom Brady, early in his career, had the uncanny ability to elevate all the playmakers around him and make them better players," Whitner explained. "Brock Purdy is currently doing the same for his offensive teammates. Brandon Aiyuk with his second consecutive 1,000-yard season. Deebo Samuel will have 1,000 yards collectively. You have Christian McCaffrey who will have over 1,000 yards. And then George Kittle also -- becoming the first team to have four 1,000-yard players since the '99 St. Louis Rams.

"In Tom Brady's second year, he led the New England Patriots to a championship. Brock Purdy is in his second year as a full-time starter and trending up. It's looking like he's going to lead the 49ers deep into the playoffs with an opportunity to win the championship in his second year. If Brock Purdy solidifies his place in history, captures the Lombardi Trophy, I think it's evident and obvious that we should no longer be making comparisons with Brock Purdy and Joe Montana, and we should be making comparisons between Brock Purdy and the greatest of all time -- the GOAT of all GOATs -- Tom Brady."

Purdy is coming off his third four-touchdown, zero-interception performance of the season in the 49ers' 45-29 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at State Farm Stadium. The 23-year-old is the only quarterback in the NFL to record multiple such games this season.

The 49ers' rising-star quarterback leads the NFL in touchdown passes (29), yards per attempt (9.9) and passer rating (119.0) while commanding a juggernaut offense that has steamrolled every opponent in the six games they have played since coming out of the bye week.

The 49ers have won six consecutive games by 12 or more points, becoming the first team to accomplish that feat since the 2009 New Orleans Saints, who would go on to win Super Bowl XLIV that season.

Brady was 24 years old when he hoisted his first Lombardi Trophy after the Patriots' 20-17 win over the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI, and Purdy will turn 24 years old himself Dec. 27 with the 49ers sitting in the driver's seat as the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoff picture.

While Purdy is far from matching Brady's career accolades, the 49ers quarterback's remarkable play this season has drawn some striking similarities to the early years of Brady's career.

If Purdy manages to lead the 49ers to victory in Super Bowl LVIII, Whitner won't be alone in drawing comparisons between San Francisco's rising star and the seven-time Super Bowl champion.

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