When quarterback Brock Purdy and the rest of the San Francisco 49ers take the field against the Minnesota Vikings Monday night, they’ll be looking to bounce back from a surprising 19-17 loss to the Cleveland Browns earlier this month.
Purdy will also be trying to prove that the magic touch he appeared to bring to the 49ers when he became the team’s starting quarterback last December didn’t wear out with his first regular-season loss.
Here’s a look at how Purdy went from “Mr. Irrelevant” to one of the NFL’s brightest young stars.
Why is Brock Purdy called ‘Mr. Irrelevant’?
Purdy earned the nickname “Mr. Irrelevant” by being picked last in his NFL draft.
Purdy, an Iowa State product, was picked 262nd overall in the 2022 NFL draft by the 49ers, as the Deseret News previously reported.
That previous article noted that Purdy was the first “Mr. Irrelevant” to throw a touchdown pass. He was also the first quarterback selected in the draft’s seventh round since 1994 to start a playoff game.
Brock Purdy win streak
When Purdy was drafted by the 49ers, team leaders likely had no idea that he would soon become one of the faces of their franchise.
He was meant to ride the bench behind Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo. But then they got injured, and Purdy had to come into the 49ers’ Dec. 4 game against the Miami Dolphins. He led the team to a 33-17 win in that game.
Purdy went on to start the 49ers’ last five games of the 2022-23 regular season, winning every one of them. His regular-season win streak continued for five more games this year, which put him in a tie for second on the all-time list of win streaks for quarterbacks at the start of their career.
Ben Roethlisberger still holds the record with 15 games, according to CBS Sports. Purdy’s streak ended at 10 games — it began with the first game he started, not the Dolphins game — when the 49ers lost a heartbreaker to the Browns on Oct. 15.
Brock Purdy contract
Even if Purdy had performed half as well as he has been, the 49ers would probably be happy with how they spent that “Mr. Irrelevant” pick — and how much they’re spending for his services this season.
According to ESPN, Purdy will make $870,000 in salary and bonuses for the 2023-24 season. That’s tied for last among quarterbacks who started the first game of the season, the article noted.
Fully 20 quarterbacks make more than $870,000 per game this year, ESPN reported. Just as a reminder because it’s shocking, Purdy will make that much for the entire season.
Brock Purdy’s religion
As the hype around his on-field performance has grown, Purdy has remained grounded in his faith.
Last year, while the 49ers prepared to take on the Dallas Cowboys in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs, Purdy told reporters he may take football seriously, but also knows it’s not “do or die.”
“I’m a faith-based guy, so that’s how I stay grounded. I don’t look at football like it’s literally everything,” he said, according to Fox News.
He said something similar in early December 2022, when he thrust into the spotlight after quarterback Garoppolo got injured.
“You go out there, you prepare as best you can, you get better every single day at practice, and once you get your opportunity, it’s ‘What are you going to do with it?’ For me, I believe in the Lord, and I trust in Him. I just go out there, and I just play,” Purdy said after the game against the Dolphins that started his original win streak, according to Fox News.
Purdy identifies as a “follower of Jesus” on Instagram and “believer in Christ” on X, the site formerly known as Twitter. He has shared several photos of himself praying or pointing to the sky on Instagram.
In 2019, when Purdy was still at Iowa State, he told Sports Spectrum that he tries to use his football career to glorify God.
“Every time I play — no matter what happens — I want others to see God through my actions,” Purdy said in that 2019 interview. “Every time I step on the field I want to bring Him glory. Even when we lose, I point to God and thank Him for the opportunity. Everything happens for a reason; it’s all a lesson from the Lord. It’s a game, it’s not my life.”
Is Brock Purdy married?
Purdy also referenced his faith when he announced his engagement to Jenna Brandt in early July.
“My Jenna girl forever. I can’t wait to be your husband and grow together in Christ. Here’s to forever babe,” Purdy said in the caption underneath the photos of him proposing that he shared on Instagram.
Brandt, who played volleyball for Iowa State before transferring to the University of Northern Iowa to finish her collegiate career, highlighted Purdy’s faith in her own Instagram post about the engagement.
“I love everything about you & your heart for Jesus more than any words can say,” she wrote.
Purdy and Brandt remain engaged as of this month.