Brock Purdy is the prototype for what you want in a late QB

49ers, Brock Purdy. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)
49ers, Brock Purdy. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images) /

With his recent success with the 49ers, the NFL should be reminded of what you should look for on day three of the draft at quarterback.

Quarterback is undoubtedly the most important position in the NFL. While there can be good teams without a great quarterback on occasion, consistent top teams all have their quarterback figured. The importance of the position makes it one of the most overdrafted positions in the NFL. Teams desperate to become a contender will regularly target quarterbacks even if better players are available.

This isn’t an inditement of that strategy, as teams take risks on quarterbacks that show off some traits but will need to develop. Sometimes this works and you get elite quarterback play. Other times they flame out. That said, the risk/reward makes sense, as landing that top quarterback is franchise-changing.

What happens after the first round though? Typically, quarterback is a position that is either an early pick with the chance of starting or a mid/late round pick that isn’t very good. Do you find the occasional talent past the first (and even early second) round? Sure, there are exceptions to this, but more often than not mid-round quarterbacks aren’t anything special.

Saying that a position gets worse after the first round isn’t a shocking stretch. That can be said for just about every position. With quarterback though it is even more apparent. Teams know you can’t win without a quarterback which leads to them being over-drafted. This even happens in past the first round, as quarterbacks with some traits but a lot of deficiencies still go.

Brock Purdy is an example of what to look for in a late NFL quarterback

Once you get out of the top 40 picks, what you are looking for in a quarterback needs to change. The idea of finding a franchise quarterback past those picks sounds great, but the odds of that happening are extremely small. Instead, finding a safe quarterback who could become a decent backup is the better bet.

Insert Brock Purdy of the 49ers. Taken with the last pick of this most recent draft, Purdy was an extremely productive quarterback in college but lacked the most desirable traits that make him a potential franchise quarterback. He’s smaller, doesn’t have a great arm, and is only a marginal athlete.

That said, he was a proven player at a top school. The odds of him becoming a legitimate franchise quarterback are slim, even with his talented start in the league. His ceiling isn’t high, but assuming he becomes a valuable backup who can play in a pinch, that is well worth the seventh-round pick.

Look at the other quarterbacks that were taken in the seventh round. Chris Oladokun was a small school option with a lot of flaws. Skylar Thompson was a similar story except he played at a major school. Each has higher proverbial ceilings than Purdy, but the odds of them getting there given their draft status and challenges are slim.

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If I were an NFL team, I wouldn’t consider a franchise quarterback unless I am convicted enough to take them in the top two rounds. After that, any quarterback I’m targeting is a backup only. Brock Purdy was a low-ceiling, high-floor player, and for a seventh-round pick at quarterback, that is exactly what you want.