49ers overreactions: Can Purdy keep team on winning path? originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Nine quarterbacks were selected in the 2022 NFL Draft. Two are now starting for their respective teams: The first quarterback selected (Pittsburgh's Kenny Pickett) and the last.
The 49ers' season now rides on the shoulders of Brock Purdy -- the 262nd and final pick in the draft -- at least until the Divisional Round of the playoffs when Jimmy Garoppolo reportedly could make his return.
But does it really?
After all, the 49ers have a strong supporting casts on defense and offense. They never asked Garoppolo to carry the team to victory. Purdy's job is to do his part -- nothing more, nothing less.
Do the 49ers' goals and expectations change with Purdy at quarterback?
That's a good jumping-off point for this edition of 49ers overreactions.
Brock Purdy has the tools to get it done for the 49ers. All is not lost (FB: Mike Wright)
Remember, coach Kyle Shanahan was ready to go with Purdy as the backup to Trey Lance to open this season.
And when Garoppolo agreed to a pay cut to remain with the 49ers, San Francisco opted to keep Purdy on the 53-man roster as the No. 3 quarterback. They did not want to take any chance of losing him.
Purdy might not have the strongest arm in the world, but he played a lot of football as a four-year starter at Iowa State, including 46 consecutive starts. He is a self-described perfectionist who gets rid of the ball quickly, changes arm angles with ease, has a lot of self-confidence and can make some plays with his legs, too.
Of course, there is going to be an immediate drop-off going from Garoppolo to Purdy. But the 49ers never asked Garoppolo to untuck his shirt and have the rest of the team jump aboard. Nothing changes with Purdy at quarterback.
As long as he avoids big mistakes, the 49ers should remain in every game they play.
Brock will start next year...Lance will be traded in off season....Jimmy back up qb (FB: Greg Garcia)
Let the guy trot out of the tunnel as an NFL starter for one game before he's anointed the franchise quarterback. Sheesh!
We will find out a lot about Purdy in the coming weeks as he accumulates playing time and opposing defenses coaches construct game plans to confuse him and force mistakes.
We still believe Lance will be the 49ers' starter in 2023 and Garoppolo will be elsewhere. If Purdy holds it together down the stretch of the season, he figures to open next year as the backup.
Garoppolo's latest injury could impact how other teams might view him, too. If there is not a team out that presents him with a contract commensurate with being a starting quarterback, it could open the door for the 49ers to re-sign him -- as unlikely as that seems.
But one thing we've learned when it comes to the 49ers' quarterback situation, it is never wise to rule out anything.
Jordan Mason is the second coming of Marshawn Lynch (FB: Josh Iverson)
Yep, it's more than a midge of an overreaction to compare undrafted rookie Jordan Mason with Marshawn Lynch. But, hey, we'll take that as a sign that Mason has shown plenty of promise in his short NFL career.
We have an idea: The 49ers should stop selecting running backs in the third round of the draft.
RELATED: What Jimmy G's potential return means for 49ers' IR situation
At the very least, we think Mason's presence is such that it justifies general manager John Lynch's decision to trade Jeff Wilson Jr. to the Miami Dolphins for a fifth-round draft pick. Mason has 97 yards rushing on just 18 carries this season.
DeMeco Ryan needs to dial up more blitzes. We need to apply more pressure on the quarterback. (FB: Mark Hitesman)
The 49ers have registered 36 sacks in 11 games. The defense has given up just 11 touchdown passes while coming up with 12 interceptions.
Here's the bottom line: 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans should keep doing what he's doing.