‘The Brock Purdy Effect’ in 2023

Brock Purdy Effect

Evaluating and drafting quarterbacks has never been an easy process. Get it right and you could have a job for life. Get it wrong and it can tarnish your reputation. The ‘Brock Purdy Effect’ is thus a phenomenon worth analysing after the plethora of late-round quarterbacks drafted in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Last year, after trying to anoint former first rounder Trey Lance as the starter, the San Francisco 49ers were forced to throw in the last pick of the 2022 NFL Draft. The result was surprising. The 49ers went all the way to the NFC championship. And, if you ask the 49ers, they are adamant they would have advanced to the Super Bowl had Brock Purdy not suffered a game-ending injury.

It has been said time and time again that the NFL is a ‘copycat league’. Upon seeing the luck the 49ers had with Purdy, other teams may have been emboldened to take a swing at a quarterback on day three of the 2023 NFL draft. In 2022, only a few quarterbacks were taken in the late rounds. This year, nine quarterbacks were selected in rounds four to seven. At least some teams were inspired by the run the 49ers went on. So much so that they also tried to strike gold with a similar strategy to San Francisco.

With the new rule taking effect to allow a third quarterback to be rostered (after the disastrous NFC Championship game), it is not unrealistic to think we could see some late-round rookie quarterbacks sooner rather than later. Let’s take a dive into five potential quarterbacks that could have the ‘Brock Purdy Effect’ for their team.

2023 ‘Brock Purdy Effect’ Candidates

Stetson Bennett (Pick #128)

Rams’ Matthew Stafford has played through many injuries throughout his career and Los Angeles’ offensive line played poorly last season.

Enter another former Bulldog, Stetson Bennett. Bennett’s accomplishments speak volumes about what he brings to the table. There are significant questions surrounding whether he has what it takes mentally to play at a high level in this league yet Sean McVay is no stranger to over-the-top personalities. With McVay’s offensive system, and elite receiver Cooper Kupp, there is a lot of potential for them.

Bennett may also encounter similar luck as another Ram’s quarterback who entered the league at a later age. Poetically, he too wore number 13.

Aidan O’Connell (Pick #135)

Like Stafford, the Las Vegas Raiders’ Jimmy Garoppolo is injury prone as well. Purdy would not have flourished without Garoppolo vacating the starting spot in San Francisco via injury. O’Connell enters a similar situation that Purdy did. Las Vegas has a stout running game, an elite wide receiver, and a strong defense (led by Maxx Crosby). An underrated part of this situation is what Michael Mayer will bring to the table. As we have seen, bringing in a top receiver and young quarterback in the same year, and letting them grow together, is a successful model.

O’Connell will have to step up if Garoppolo misses time. However, his (and the Raiders’) path to the playoffs may not be as easy as Purdy’s was last year in the NFC. With that said, given O’Connell’s situation in Las Vegas, he could make some strides.

Sean Clifford (Pick #149)

There is a lot to like about this young Green Bay Packers team. Romeo Doubs is a great route runner who showed promise last season. Christian Watson had a ‘diet Randy Moss’ rookie season. Rookie Jayden Reed is an absolute speedster. Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft both have traits that will make them a young quarterback’s best friend. While LaFleur has benefited largely from having Rodgers as his quarterback, his offensive genius should not be ignored. The dynamic duo of Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillion as well as a strong defense works in LaFleur’s favor.

Sean Clifford was a long-time starter for Penn State. Due to his experience he understands the little things that can give him an edge. If Jordan Love goes down, Clifford walks into a very favorable situation with the Packers in a wide-open NFC North.

Jaren Hall (Pick #164)

The Minnesota Vikings made a stellar trade last year which does not get talked about enough. Getting T.J. Hockenson was a message to the team that they are all in on their window. This Vikings offense struggled the most early in the 2022 season when Justin Jefferson was double covered. With Hockenson, they got an alternative plan of attack for when this happens. Rookie Jordan Addison adds to their firepower. Having one of the best young tackles in the league in Christian Darrisaw will make things easier too. Jaren Hall may have different traits to Kirk Cousins, but that may work to his benefit. Therefore, if Cousins goes down, a dual-threat quarterback with a big arm could be scary.

Max Duggan (Pick #239)

Max Duggan had an interesting college career to say the least. To lead the Los Angeles Chargers to a championship would be the perfect way to finish these past couple years for him.

Drafted to the same team as Quentin Johnston, a fellow TCU teammate, Duggan lands in a great spot with a ton of talent. Every single pass catcher for the Chargers is a big-bodied receiver. Austin Ekeler is electric with the ball in his hands and is also one of the league’s premier receiving backs. Rashawn Slater will keep Duggan upright and allow him to manage games like Purdy did. One of Purdy’s underrated traits was his ability to take off and run. That is something Duggan does extraordinarily well. If, for any reason, Justin Herbert goes down, Duggan could put on a show.

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