Brock Purdy named National Quarterback Club's Pro Quarterback of the Year

One of the honored guests of Friday night's National Quarterback Club awards dinner and Hall of Fame induction ceremony at The Scottsdale Resort & Spa couldn't be there.

Brock Purdy made an appearance anyway, via recorded video message, after being named the NQBC's National Professional Quarterback of the Year. The Queen Creek native, former Gilbert Perry High School star, former Iowa State standout and Super Bowl 58 runner-up with the San Francisco 49ers accepted his award as several big-name quarterbacks past and present looked on and listened inside a resort ballroom.

"What an honor it is to be associated with (NQBC president) Mark Clifford and the National Quarterback Club ... what a real honor and blessing it is," Purdy told the audience.

He acknowledged and congratulated the national high school and college quarterback award winners, Florida-bound DJ Lagway of Willis (Texas) High School and Heisman Trophy finalist Michael Penix Jr. of Washington, both present Friday.

Former NFL quarterbacks Donovan McNabb (L-R), Rodney Peete and Warren Moon pose for a picture during the red carpet arrival at the National Quarterback Club Ceremony at the Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch.
Former NFL quarterbacks Donovan McNabb (L-R), Rodney Peete and Warren Moon pose for a picture during the red carpet arrival at the National Quarterback Club Ceremony at the Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch.

And Purdy respectfully congratulated former NFL quarterbacks Ken Anderson, Rodney Peete and Bernie Kosar, the 2023 inductees into the National Quarterback Hall of Fame.

"Thank you guys for all the love and support this year. It was a crazy year, but I'm so thankful for my family, my friends, God and all the support from back home in Arizona and across the country," Purdy said. "Have a great night, God Bless and Go Niners."

Purdy set a 49ers record for passing yards in a season with 4,280, and threw 31 touchdown passes in 2023. He led all NFL quarterbacks in passer rating with 113 in just his second season in the league, earning his first Pro Bowl selection, and is one of only three quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era to take his team to a conference championship game in each of his first two years in the NFL.

Quarterbacks on Purdy

Before Peete, Penix and Lagway accepted their honors, and prior to Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Warren Moon introducing Penix in a special moment for the two former Washington Huskies, Purdy's fellow award winners were each asked about Purdy,

"I know he uses that as motivation probably, but it's time for everybody else to kind of let that go, I think," Peete said, referring to Purdy being labeled "Mr. Irrelevant" for being the last pick of the 2022 NFL draft. "He's been in the league two years, he's had a tremendous amount of success. ... Once you get in, it doesn't matter where you were drafted. Either you can play or you can't. I hate the criticism of 'well, he's a seventh-round draft choice, he's not supposed to do that.' Nobody told him. I give him all the props in the world, because he has done more in two years as a quarterback than most guys will ever."

Peete, a native of Mesa and former Tucson resident who played his first three high school seasons at Sahuaro, also proved a lot of detractors wrong, playing 15 NFL seasons despite being a sixth-round pick out of USC in 1989.

Moon said Purdy is part of the "special fraternity" of quarterbacks who are unique in the sense that only those who play it understand what it takes to play the position.

"I think what he's done is so impressive and all he does is catch flak about it. Everybody wants to downgrade his performance because of the talent that he has around him," Moon said. "Show me a good team that doesn't have good talent, and I'll show you a quarterback that's not going to be very good. He still has to go out there and execute the offense. He has to make the checks, he's gotta make the tough plays, he's gotta be the one to scramble and get out of trouble. To me he's a fine young quarterback and he's only going to get better."

Penix, projected to be a high draft pick in April, is a student of NFL quarterback game footage. He lists Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes and Michael Vick as some of his favorite quarterbacks.

"(Purdy) does what he's supposed to do and he's real consistent with it. I feel like it leads to a lot of his success, him just not worrying about the naysayers and people trying to count him out because of where he was drafted," Penix said.

Lagway, the youngest quarterback being honored, took advantage of all of the top quarterback talent around him at the awards ceremony. He met all of the honorees and former Philadelphia Eagles star Donovan McNabb, who also attended.

Purdy inspires him.

"You just continue to work hard, no matter if you're the No. 1 player in the country or the 1,000th player in the country, and nobody can stop you," Lagway said.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Brock Purdy accepts national honor, praised by elite players