Former 49ers WR Emmanuel Sanders defends Brock Purdy after poor PFF ranking

May 31, 2024, 10:30 AM | Updated: 10:48 am

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)...

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 11: Quarterback Brock Purdy #13 of the San Francisco 49ers scrambles against the Kansas City Chiefs in the second quarter of Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium on February 11, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Chiefs defeated the 49ers 25-22 in overtime. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

It wouldn’t be a 49ers offseason without some controversy or speculation, but typically that comes from news more in-house. This time around, outside media is coming to the defense of quarterback Brock Purdy.

Former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders spoke fondly of the 49ers’ current QB during an interview on Up & Adams with Kay Adams this week. Sanders came to the defense of Purdy after he was ranked the 13th-best gunslinger by Pro Football Focus recently.

While Sanders has never played with the young QB, he has been impressed, so much so that he believes Brock Purdy is underrated by some of the national media.

“I don’t think that’s a fair spot. As far as Purdy, I just don’t understand why people keep sleeping on him,” Sanders said about Purdy Thursday.

The PFF list placed the Arizona native in the fourth tier, titled “The Melting Pot of Starters”. Players such as Jordan Love and Trevor Lawrence were named ahead of him, despite Purdy’s accomplishments in his first two seasons.

The real kicker was Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, placed sixth on the list by PFF. In head to head clashes, Purdy has never lost to Prescott in the NFL, winning all three occasions.

But as usual, the former Mr. Irrelevant has doubters, with Sanders giving a wideout’s perspective on the QB to further his argument.

“I was talking to [49ers WR Deebo Samuel] last year just about Purdy and I said, ‘man what is it about Purdy?’, and he said ‘you should see him in the huddle. He comes in the huddle and plays with a certain confidence. He comes in, he believes, he makes other guys believe,'” Sanders shared. “Keep sleeping on Purdy, he’s gonna prove them wrong.”

Here is what Trevor Sikkema of Pro Football Focus wrote about Brock Purdy:

I’m fairly comfortable with Purdy’s ranking on this list. His consistent success — albeit in a very talented offense — over the past two years should not go unrecognized. His 78.3% adjusted completion rate was a top-five number in 2023, which speaks to his timing and accuracy. And his 5.4% big-time throw percentage shows that, even with below-average arm talent, he is a good enough anticipator to make things happen.

Purdy is also a very confident player and pushes the ball, which battles the “game manager” label he often gets; he’s not just a dink-and-dunk passer. Does he have the athletic talent of some other players? No, but he’s damn good at his job, regardless.

This ranking comes on the same week NBC Sports’ Chris Simms placed him as the 17th-best QB in the NFL. The former NFL QB had the likes of Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray over Purdy, despite setting a 49ers’ franchise record for passing yards in his first full season as a starter.

But again, doubters will remain until both Brock Purdy and the 49ers hoist the Lombardi Trophy. Could that be this season? Only time will tell.

Key offseason dates for the San Francisco 49ers

  • May 31–OTAs
  • June 4-6  Mandatory Minicamp
  • End of July TBD – 2024 NFL Training Camp

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