Lynch: Purdy ‘leader in the clubhouse' for 49ers' starting QB job


PHOENIX — There appears to be a starting job waiting for 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy at the end of a lengthy rehabilitation for elbow surgery.

General manager John Lynch on Monday said Purdy is in line to remain coach Kyle Shanahan's starting quarterback whenever he is cleared to resume football activities.

“I think Brock has earned the right with the way he played,” Lynch said at the NFL Annual Meeting.

“He’s probably the leader in the clubhouse. I’ll let Kyle make those kinds of decisions. But I know when we talk, I think Brock has probably earned that right to be the guy. If we were to line up, he’d probably take that first snap.”

Purdy, the 262nd and final pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, was a key figure in eight consecutive 49ers victories late in the season, including two in the playoffs.

He sustained a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow in the first quarter of the 49ers’ 31-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship Game.

Purdy underwent surgery on March 10. Lynch said the 49ers are optimistic Purdy will be available at some point in training camp.

Trey Lance, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, began last season as the starter as he took over for Jimmy Garoppolo.

Lance is coming off a fractured right lower leg and ankle ligament damage. He and newly signed veteran Sam Darnold are expected to take the practice snaps in the offseason program and training camp while Purdy continues his physical therapy.

Lynch said the team’s belief that Purdy has earned the right to be the starter should not be viewed as an indictment on Lance.

“We’ve always said, we don’t care where you were drafted, if you were drafted, that’s always been our stance,” Lynch said. “That’s what we believe in.

“I think both things can be true. We’re still very excited about Trey, but I think the way Brock played, he probably has earned that right to be the guy. But it’s certainly a competition. We’ll always have that.”

The 49ers went 6-0 in the regular season with Purdy at quarterback. On the season, he completed 67.1 percent of his pass attempts for 1,374 yards with 13 touchdowns and four interceptions. His passer rating was 107.3.

In the postseason, Purdy completed 65.1 percent of his attempts for 569 yards with three touchdowns, no interceptions and a 109.8 rating.

Lynch said Purdy proved he belonged with the way he played, processed information and led the team.

“He’s done it for part of one year,” Lynch said. “But the way he did it — not just he did it — but the way he did it gave a lot of confidence to everyone in our building. He earned that."

RELATED: Taking a way-too-early look at 49ers' 53-man roster for 2023

Lynch said he knew Purdy was a “good” athlete based on his 10-yard split with his 40 time during pre-draft workouts. But his ability make plays out of nothing was not expected.

“It really kind of surprised us how adept he was and elusive he was at extending plays but also playing within the system,” Lynch said. “He did everything well. Is there room for growth? Absolutely, but he’s left us all with a lot of confidence that he’s a real guy and we’re excited about that.”

Download and follow the 49ers Talk Podcast


Contact Us