SANTA CLARA –Trent Williams said getting Brock Purdy with the final pick of the 2022 NFL Draft was like winning the $2 billion Powerball jackpot.
Maybe so. But Purdy has now started 17 games for the 49ers including the playoffs — the equivalent of a full season — and what he’s done in that span ranks with some of the best who have ever played quarterback in the NFL.
It was last Dec. 11 when Purdy made his first start against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tom Brady after coming off the bench the previous week against Miami following a foot injury to Jimmy Garoppolo. The 49ers won 35-7. The Bucs are back in town Sunday. Baker Mayfield, a former No. 1 overall pick, is the Tampa Bay quarterback now.
Purdy looks back at that game fondly but with an eye toward the future.
“I watched the film, there’s some stuff, honestly, where I was like, ‘Dude, that’s a little sloppy,’ ” Purdy said Thursday. “The operation, how I run the offense, those are areas where I feel I’ve grown and can continue to get better. But the spark, the energy, the chip on the shoulder I played with in that game, that’s sort of the same. I’m still trying to prove to myself I belong in the league and on this team.”
Coach Kyle Shanahan, has seen not only steady progress, but has a quarterback who can run the offense to his specifications while feeling wounded over criticism. Purdy, in fact, usually tells Shanahan what he did wrong before the two have a chance to go over it.
“He showed last year he was capable of being our starting quarterback and I don’t think anything’s been different so far this year,” Shanahan said.
Here’s a look at how other notable quarterbacks, past and present, with the 49ers and otherwise, have fared in their first 17 games including playoffs:
(Team, W-L, PA-PC-PCT-YDS-TD-INT-Rating)
Jimmy Garoppolo, NE, SF (15-2) 514-345-67.1-4,245-24-15-95.8
Lamar Jackson, Balt (14-3) 438-276-63.0-3,352-24-8-97.1
Patrick Mahomes, KC (13-4) 615-405-65.9-5,381-50-13-111.7
Brock Purdy, SF (13-4) 484-328-67.7-4,272-31-9-109.0
Dak Prescott, Dal (13-4) 497-335-67.4-3,969-26-5-104.8
Russell Wilson, Sea (12-5) 419-267-63.6-3,305-27-10-99.6
Tua Tagovaiola, Mia (10-7) 509-341-67.0-3,348-21-11-90.1
Josh Allen, Buf (10-7) 494-281-58.1-3,324-19-19-74.3
Baker Mayfield, Cle (8-9) 602-375-62.3-4,671-31-20-89.7
Joe Burrow, Cin (7-9-1) 616-410-66.6-4,644-30-13-96.3
Matthew Stafford, Det (7-10) 634-358-56.4-4,019-30-24-76.5
Justin Herbert, LAC (7-10) 683-458-67.1-5,011-33-13-96.8
Aaron Rodgers, GB (7-10) 564-358-63.5-4,222-29-13-93.7
Jalen Hurts, Phil (7-10) 510-368-58.8-3,650-19-12-83.5
Kyler Murray, Ariz (6-10-1) 582-375-64.4-3,952-21-13-86.8
Derek Carr, Oak (3-14) 611-355-58.1-3,331-21-12-76.5
Trevor Lawrence, Jax (3-14) 602-359-59.6-3,641,12-17-71.9
Garoppolo’s 17 starts were spread out over four seasons, with two wins coming with New England and the rest with the 49ers. Jackson rushed for 1,377 yards in his first 17 games with 10 touchdowns. Mahomes’ 50 touchdown passes in his first 17 starts may never be equaled. Prescott seized the moment in Dallas as a fourth-round draft pick. Wilson, who may be getting on track in Denver, had 532 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Tagovaiola’s performance has ascended since the arrival of coach Mike McDaniel. Allen had 795 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns, but remains error-prone. Mayfield got off to a good start on a bad team before the Cleveland organization disintegrated. Tampa Bay is his fourth team. Burrow weathered an ACL tear and may be the NFL’s top pocket passer. Stafford was thrown to the wolves as a No. 1 overall pick in Detroit. Herbert joined Mahomes in the 5,000-yard club. Rodgers plans on coming back with the Jets. Hurts had 1,005 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns as a dual threat. Murray had 635 yards rushing and five touchdowns. Carr’s supporting cast with the Raiders was as bad as it gets. Lawrence had a nightmarish first season under Urban Meyer.
Colin Kaepernick (12-5) 434-272-62.7-3,833-22-10-98.4
Joe Montana (9-8) 545-348-63.9-3,501-24-14-86.0
Alex Smith (7-10) 400-247-61.8-2,665-11-18-71.7
Jeff Garcia (4-13) 577-356-61.7-4,174-29-13-91.0
Kaepernick added 579 yards rushing including 181 against Green Bay in the playoffs. Never got a second chance because of, well, you know. Montana was eased into the starting role in Year 2 by Bill Walsh and brought the franchise to new heights. For Smith to win seven games over his first two years is amazing considering talent on hand. Garcia, the former San Jose State star imported from the Canadian Football League, put up some big-time numbers.
IN HALL OF FAME OR WAITING ON IT
Ben Roethlisberger, Pit (16-1) 361-258-65.9-3,324-22-14-99.5
Roger Staubach, Dal (15-2) 291-170-58.4-2,380-19-6-98.0
Tom Brady, NE (14-3) 578-342-60.9-3,770-27-14-85.5
Philip Rivers, SD (14-3) 492-298-60.6-3,618-22-10-89.6
Dan Marino, Mia (13-4) 475-290-61.1-3,963-37-10-104.9
Ken Stabler, Oak (11-5-1) 374-228-2,708-61.0-18-18-79.0
Matt Ryan, Atl (11-6) 474-291-61.4-3,3,639-18-13-86.5
John Elway, Den (10-7) 404-206-51.0-2,571-10-21-57.7
Brett Favre, GB (9-8) 617-344-55.8-3,564-20-17-71.9
Drew Brees, SD (8-9) 559-338-60.5-3,486-19-18-76.4
Peyton Manning, Ind (4-13) 608-347-57.1-4,023-28-30-72.0
Steve Young, TB (3-14) 447-244-54.6-2,956-10-19-64.9
Roethlisberger was good, but was carried to a Super Bowl championship in Year 1 on Bill Cowher’s Steelers. Cowboys coach Tom Landry needed two off-and-on years before deciding Staubach was better than Craig Morton. When Drew Bledsoe went down for New England, Brady took over and the rest is history. Rivers pushed out Brees, who went on to a record-setting run in New Orleans. There are plenty of Raiders fans who will look you in the eye and claim Stabler is the best there ever was. Ryan was good right away, eventually won an MVP and is a borderline HOF candidate. In an archaic offense, Elway made enough plays to win despite a passer rating that is south of JaMarcus Russell. The “gunslinger” Favre flourished in Green Bay after Atlanta gave up on him after one season. Manning threw a lot of picks early, but never took a beating and then went on to greatness and Manningcasts. Fortunately for Young, he got out of Tampa and ended up with the 49ers.