Why Alex Smith believes 49ers QB Purdy is ‘real deal'

Why Alex Smith believes 49ers QB Purdy is ‘real deal' originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Coach Kyle Shanahan isn't the only person connected with the 49ers who believes quarterback Brock Purdy is the "real deal."

Former 49ers quarterback and current ESPN NFL analyst Alex Smith echoed Shanahan's Purdy praise during an appearance on 95.7 The Game's "Willard and Dibs" on Thursday.

"To see what he's done, it's honestly the best story in the NFL, the best story in football, one of the best stories in sports and it's the real deal," Smith told Mark T. Willard and Dan Dibley. "Brock is the real deal.

"I think for everybody out there trying to say he's a product of the situation, listen, is Kyle a great offensive coordinator? Of course. Are there great weapons there? Yes, but half the league you could say that about.

"Listen, you go into every, not just the main stats, you go into … some of these more underlying stats for, accuracy, throwing under pressure with the defender in proximity of him, passing outside the pocket, throwing the ball downfield, Brock was No. 1 in the NFL in about every category there was. This guy does it all and then you just turn on the tape … the eye test, he passes it as well."

Last August, in the middle of training camp, Shanahan first dubbed Purdy the "real deal" as questions lingered about whether the then-second-year quarterback would be ready for the season coming off right elbow surgery earlier in the year.

While talking to Greg Papa on NBC Sports Bay Area's "49ers Game Plan" in September, Shanahan explained why he called Purdy the "real deal," noting that the Iowa State product had shown him in practice and in games what he was made of.

Shanahan reinforced his comments about Purdy when he caught up with Papa in January, making it clear that the final pick in the 2022 NFL Draft was playing at a consistently high level.

Smith, the former No. 1 overall pick by the 49ers in the 2005 NFL Draft, appreciates what he has seen from Purdy.

"This guy, I think plays with more courage in the NFL than about any quarterback," Smith told Willard and Dibley. "And that's saying a lot. He's not a big guy but man, he stands in there and and that's something you just can't coach. I'm sorry, guys have it or they don't. You can look good in shorts and throw it all around the yard. But when you put the pads on and 350-pounders are bearing down on you, to have that kind of courage and stand in there and still have the poise and accuracy to keep his eyes down field, again, it's just a really, really rare and obviously he can process and he can hit his spot.

"He's gonna be playing a long time at a high level. He's got that in him. Obviously, it's just so rare for a guy to have dropped that far in the draft. I think so many people just can't get over the fact that it doesn't add up for him, right? He's not 6-foot-5. He's not throwing at 80 yards. Like they don't have the measurables, they can't quantify it. But in the end, that's not what playing quarterback is all about anyway. Again, it's about accuracy and processing and toughness and this guy has all those things.

"I certainly love contradicting. There's a lot of people out there that love to hate on him and knock him down. But man, he is the real deal and incredibly happy for him and couldn't be to a better kid. This guy is as humble as they come and just has a great quiet confidence about it.

Purdy set the 49ers' single-season franchise passing record last season with 4,280 yards, while also throwing 31 touchdown passes and just 11 interceptions.

Coming off major elbow surgery, Purdy guided the 49ers to a 12-5 record, the NFC's No. 1 seed and took them to Super Bowl LVIII, where they ultimately lost in overtime to the Kansas City Chiefs.

With a full offseason to train rather than rehab an injury, Purdy is expected to take the next step during the 2024 NFL season, and the 49ers are hoping that means they finally can capture their elusive sixth Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Download and follow the 49ers Talk Podcast