The 49ers might have an elite defense, but it remains impressive that a team playing its third-string quarterback is a game away from the Super Bowl.
And if Peter King was given the chance to build a team from scratch, he’d be taking Brock Purdy over the last quarterback the rookie beat.
SInce taking over the starting quarterback gig following injuries to Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo, Purdy has been poised and reliable. In an offense loaded with weapons, it long has been clear that the 49ers don’t need an elite quarterback, rather someone who can limit mistakes and manage the game.
Purdy has done just that, and the 49ers have responded by playing some of their best football with him under center. The 23-year-old most recently outplayed Dak Prescott in a 19-12 win that sent San Francisco to the NFC Championship.
It's not a sure thing yet that Purdy will be the 49ers starter when next season rolls around. But King said Tuesday on "Damon and Ratto" that he'd take Purdy over Prescott.
"The other thing I thought: How strange it is to think that if I were starting a franchise right now I’d rather have Brock Purdy be my quarterback than Dak Prescott," King said. "And that sounds totally, absolutely insane, but that’s the way I feel. …
"In eight NFL games, Brock Purdy has not fumbled the ball. He hasn’t only not lost a fumble, he has not fumbled the ball. And he’s only thrown three picks. He is the perfect quarterback for a team that has a defense like the San Francisco 49ers. That’s why Brock Purdy can be the opening day starter at quarterback regardless of what happens on Sunday or beyond."
The best case that could be made for Purdy over Prescott is relative value given their contracts. Purdy is an efficient player on a rookie deal, while Prescott offers a higher ceiling but, especially lately, a lower floor too – all with a substantially larger price tag.
Teams love having good quarterbacks on rookie deals, but Prescott is more likely to have a big impact on a game than Purdy is. To King’s point though, with a defense like San Francisco's, a star quarterback headlining a high-flying offense isn’t necessarily imperative.