Which eight quarterbacks were taken over Brock Purdy in the NFL Draft?
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy is 21-6 as a starter in the NFL, but he’s come a long way since being tabbed as Mr. Irrelevant at the 2022 NFL Draft.
Brock Purdy garnered attention from Alabama, Boise State, Kansas, and Iowa State as a three-star recruit out of Gilbert, Arizona. He ultimately chose the Cyclones and started for four seasons in the Big 12 Conference.
Even with respectable numbers across the board, Purdy was not considered a top NFL Draft prospect due to a perceived lack of arm talent and his meager height, weight, and athleticism.
The 49ers waited until the final pick of the 2022 NFL Draft to make Purdy’s NFL dreams come true. He entered the organization as the third quarterback behind Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance on the depth chart.
Following injuries to the two signal-callers ahead of him, Purdy seized the starting role midway through the 2022 campaign and never looked back. He lifted San Francisco to an NFC title game in year one before earning a Super Bowl berth this season.
Eight quarterbacks went before Brock Purdy at the NFL Draft
Now, with the Niners looking brilliant for rolling the dice on Purdy, many NFL fans wonder how in the world eight other quarterbacks went before him.
Kenny Pickett (Pittsburgh Steelers)
The only first-round quarterback in 2022 was Pittsburgh product Kenny Pickett. The Steelers drafted the gunslinger 20th overall, but questions about his future with the franchise are swirling after the coaching staff benched Pickett for the playoff game vs. Buffalo.
Desmond Ridder (Atlanta Falcons)
The Falcons didn’t select a quarterback until the third round when Cincinnati Bearcat star Desmond Ridder came to Atlanta. In two years, Ridder boasts an under .500 record as the starter and was benched in favor of Taylor Heinicke.
Malik Willis (Tennessee Titans)
Malik Willis only started three games as a rookie, but the Titans apparently saw enough because the front office would take Will Levis at the beginning of round two in the following draft. Levis is the expected starter moving forward.
Matt Corral (Carolina Panthers)
Matt Corral never appeared in an NFL game after suffering multiple injuries and being subsequently released from the Panthers before the 2023 campaign.
Bailey Zappe (New England Patriots)
The Patriots selected Bailey Zappe in the fourth round, and the Western Kentucky alum has eight starts since then. At 4-4, Zappe has often done enough to win games, but serious questions exist about his standing with the franchise as a new regime takes control.
Sam Howell (Washington Commanders)
Unlike some previous entries on this list, Sam Howell started the entire 2023 regular season for Washington. But after leading the league in interceptions with 21, the Commanders are expected to target a new quarterback in April’s NFL Draft.
Chris Oladokun (Pittsburgh Steelers)
Chris Oladokun never took the field for the Steelers, with Pittsburgh releasing the Florida native and allowing him to sign with the Chiefs practice squad, where he currently resides. He is a two-time Super Bowl champion.
Skylar Thompson (Miami Dolphins)
Oddly enough, Skylar Thompson is the only player mentioned with a postseason start. In relief of Tua Tagovailoa, Thompson posted an inspired effort vs. the Bills, but he hasn’t taken an NFL snap since.
Brock Purdy (San Francisco 49ers)
The 49ers likely had no idea that Brock Purdy would blossom into a legitimate starting quarterback in the NFL. Even they passed on him several times in the draft.
However, history will remember San Francisco as the team that stole Purdy from the rest of the league. In only two seasons at the helm, the Niners flex a sparkling record with the young signal-caller leading the way.
Questions continue about whether or not Purdy is an elite quarterback, but no one doubts that he was an all-time NFL Draft steal at this point of his career.