Brandt claims 49ers QB Purdy looks like ‘young Russell Wilson'

Brandt claims 49ers QB Purdy looks like ‘young Russell Wilson' originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Brock Purdy is trying to make a name for himself after being "Mr. Irrelevant" last season.

But the comparisons come with the territory. And after picking up right where he left off in the 49ers' season-opening blowout win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, Purdy was compared to a quarterback San Francisco is all too familiar with.

"We knew that the 49ers' [defense] was good and that they're run-physical. We really didn't know how Purdy was going to show up," NFL Network host Kyle Brandt said on "Good Morning Football" on Monday morning. "He looks like young Russell Wilson. Like first couple years in the league Russell Wilson.

"Just a gamer. Mobile. He had jukes out there and he's throwing across his body. He looked really good."

Comparisons are always weird. And Purdy's small sample size (compared to Wilson's 12-year career) makes it tricky to fully dissect.

But from what the football world has seen so far from the second-year pro has been nothing short of incredible. Following the season-ending injuries to former 49ers quarterbacks Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo last season, Purdy stepped in and led the team to eight straight victories until a UCL injury wiped away San Francisco's Super Bowl aspirations.

In his first game back since undergoing surgery to repair his throwing elbow, he was just as steady and successful. The 23-year-old threw for 220 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions on 19-of-29 passing in the 49ers' 30-7 Week 1 win over the Steelers.

Of course, Wilson and Purdy have very different NFL journeys. The Seahawks selected Wilson in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft, and he started all 16 games with Seattle as a rookie. Ten years later, Purdy was the very last pick in the 2022 NFL Draft and third-string QB behind Lance and Garoppolo before emerging as the starter.

On the field, though, it's hard to bypass some of the similarities between the two signal-callers.

Purdy's timing, anticipation and accuracy greatly resemble that of Wilson in his early playing years. Both quarterbacks are great at sensing the pass rush coming and finding ways to escape it. While Purdy isn't as quick as Wilson was, the second-year pro has sneaky athleticism displayed in flashes on the field.

They both also hardly ever panic, even in the most tense situations, something extremely important for an NFL quarterback.

Sure, Purdy doesn't have the strongest arm in the world and certainly doesn't possess Wilson's deep ball, but it's good enough to get the job done. And it's worked just fine so far.

It helps when you have weapons like Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and others, too.

Wilson, now with the Denver Broncos, isn't the same player he was during his prime in the Pacific Northwest. He won one Super Bowl in 2014 and gave the 49ers headaches during memorable clashes with their division rivals.

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