Dolphins' McDaniel had Purdy on his radar before NFL draft


PHOENIX — Miami Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel shared 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy was on his radar well before the rookie took over for an injured Jimmy Garoppolo in Week 13 at Levi’s Stadium. 

While at the NFL Annual Meeting in Arizona, McDaniel revealed that Purdy was one of the quarterbacks the Dolphins evaluated ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft. The club ultimately went in another direction, but the Iowa State signal-caller had impressed the head coach. 

“That was a guy who was firmly on our radar before the draft,” McDaniel said Monday. “We took Skyler Thompson, but [Purdy] was very much in the conversation, so I was very aware of what kind of player he was.

“I knew that he had a good strong camp, and he made an impression enough on coaches for it to get back to me.” 

Purdy had an impressive outing against the Dolphins, helping the 49ers keep their win streak alive. As a rookie, Purdy completed 25 of his 37 attempts for 210 yards, two touchdowns and one interception facing Miami. The rest, as they say, is history. 

Maybe more impressive is how Purdy reacted to the extra pressure from the Dolphins' defense that Sunday afternoon. McDaniel explained the strategy in facing a quarterback without much experience who first gets into a game. 

“Whenever you have a quarterback change in a game it’s very common, and in that game it was common for us, to try to blitz a little more to see if he was on his reads and his timing was right,” McDaniel said. 

“Try to make a few plays on defense a lot of times, if you think that he might not have gotten as many reps, or they are a rookie, or his first regular season game. That’s normal, not an indictment on him.”  

RELATED: Shanahan knows Purdy's injury leaves slight opening for Lance

Purdy clearly passed the test and went on to help San Francisco reach the NFC Championship Game before suffering a UCL injury in the title contest's first quarter. The 23-year-old's poise and control as starter is a reason why general manager John Lynch shared that he is the “leader in the clubhouse.” 

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