SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Before Saturday, Iowa State Cyclones quarterback Brock Purdy had a wide range of potential outcomes in mind for his football future. In the days leading up to the NFL draft, he had been told he could be drafted as early as round four or go undrafted entirely.
As it turned out, Purdy did get selected. Barely.
With the final pick in this year’s draft, No. 262 overall, the San Francisco 49ers selected Purdy. It’s a choice that comes with the title of “Mr. Irrelevant,” and includes a week of activities in southern California.
In the moments after his selection, Purdy didn’t hesitate to embrace his new title but also made it clear he intends to carve out a longer lasting, more important position as an NFL quarterback.
“I think it’s a funny thing,” Purdy said. “If you’re a fan, or even my family, friends and stuff, it’s funny to laugh about it and joke around with it. For me, I’m looking at it as an opportunity. I got my foot in the door, a team believed in me and now I get my opportunity to go and play football. That’s what I want my career to be. That’s what I want my job to be is to be an NFL quarterback and now I have the opportunity to do so. That’s how I’m looking at it.
“From the outside looking in, I guess it’s a funny thing and I’ll embrace the role and have some fun with it for sure, but at the end of the day I’m trying to go and help a team win the Super Bowl. That’s where my mindset is at with it.”
Purdy had an inkling he could land in San Francisco after a Zoom meeting with Niners quarterbacks coach Brian Griese about a month ago. That interest was forged when coach Kyle Shanahan asked Griese and assistant quarterbacks coach Klay Kubiak to put together a list of names they liked at the position.
“He was a guy we labeled early as our No. 1 free agent we were gonna go after and when you get to there and they haven’t been drafted, we have the last pick, we thought it was perfect,” Shanahan said. “The guy has played a lot of football. He plays the game the right way. He’s extremely tough, gets the ball to the right spots and plays very well in the pocket and is a guy who we think can come in here and help us fill out this roster and give himself a chance to make the team.”
Purdy was a four-year starter for the Cyclones, ending his career with 12,170 passing yards, 81 touchdowns and 33 interceptions in 46 starts. He also rushed for 1,177 yards and 19 scores.
In late June, Purdy will get the chance to take part in “Irrelevant week” in Newport Beach, Calif., an annual event that in the past has included a banquet and surfing lessons.
Before that, he’ll get a chance to begin making his mark on the Niners, presumably as a developmental prospect behind Trey Lance and Nate Sudfeld as San Francisco continues to seek a new home for veteran Jimmy Garoppolo.
“He’s relevant to us,” general manager John Lynch said.