Pelissero points out key Purdy trait that NFL scouts overlooked


As the final pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, rookie Brock Purdy exceeded expectations when he helped lead the 49ers to the NFC Championship after taking over at quarterback in Week 13.

He soared to relevancy and made plenty of history along the way, much to the surprise of analysts and experts around the league -- and especially those who passed over him in the draft.

NFL Media's Tom Pelissero weighed in on what the scouts got wrong about Purdy with NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco and Jennifer Lee Chan on Friday at Super Bowl Radio Row in Phoenix, Ariz.

"He's like a lot of the guys that [49ers coach] Kyle Shanahan has found through the years, where he's not necessarily the biggest guy with the biggest arm, but he can process really fast," Pelissero said on the latest episode of "49ers Talk." "That's the No. 1 characteristic Kyle looks for in quarterbacks is, 'Can you process it?' Because Kyle's skill is he gets people open."

Purdy's ability to throw the football where Shanahan needs him to quickly and efficiently proved to be a recipe for success throughout the second half of the season, as Purdy didn't lose a game he started until San Francisco fell to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC title game. Even then, Purdy was knocked out in the first quarter with a torn UCL -- which is scheduled to be surgically repaired Feb. 22.

But that quick thinking also helps Purdy make magic happen when he can't get the ball to its intended spot, and the 23-year-old's capacity to make off-schedule plays was on display often as well.

Still, so many passed on him in the draft.

Pelissero told Maiocco and Chan a story about an unnamed NFL scout, who had a simple message once Purdy came in for an injured Jimmy Garoppolo. The scout previously had told Pelissero that Purdy would go undrafted, and Pelissero himself admitted he wrote down Purdy would be a "long-term backup."

"Periodically, as Brock Purdy's playing the season, he's texting me, 'Boy, I missed that one. Yep, I missed that one,' " Pelissero said. "This scout for another team, like, 'Yeah, we misevaluated that one.' "

Purdy wasn't the biggest quarterback in the draft, nor the strongest, but he possessed the trait most needed to succeed in Shanahan's offense.

"The answer is, on an offense that's got Christian McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel, and [Brandon Aiyuk] and [George] Kittle, and go down the list, [Purdy] can function at a pretty high level because he can see it," Pelissero said. "He can process it. He gets the ball where it needs to go."

RELATED: Mariucci: Purdy earned 49ers' starting job; Lance must be patient

After going from Mr. Irrelevant to very relevant in just a few months, Purdy now has the offseason to process all he accomplished as he looks to return to the field fully healthy by training camp.

And with all they accomplished with Purdy under center, the 49ers certainly are glad Purdy was available at No. 262.

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