Former Panthers Coach Says He Wanted To Draft Brock Purdy

Brock Purdy
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Brock Purdy is preparing to lead the San Francisco 49ers into the Super Bowl this Sunday, but if a former Carolina Panthers head coach had his way, it wouldn’t be happening.

Matt Rhule, who coached the Panthers from 2020 through the first five games of 2022 before being fired, says he had Purdy on his draft board back in April 2022, but was overruled.

“I think Brock Purdy is an amazing player, played against him at Iowa State,” Rhule said, via Matt Foster of KETV. “When I was in the draft room at Carolina, I brought his name up. I said he should be on the draft board. I got vetoed on that one.”

Rhule was referring to when he coached at Baylor, as he and the Bears faced Purdy and the Cyclones in 2018 and 2019.

Of course, the Panthers were hardly the only team that passed over Purdy.

Purdy was taken by the 49ers with the last pick of the draft that year, and due to injuries to Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance, he was thrust into the starting role during his rookie campaign.

He impressed by going 5-0 in his regular-season starts and throwing for 1,374 yards, 13 touchdowns and four interceptions while completing 67.1 percent of his passes and posting a passer rating of 107.3.

Then, in his first full season under center this year, Purdy posted MVP-caliber numbers, totaling 4,280 yards, 31 touchdowns and 11 picks while completing 69.4 percent of his throws and registering a league-high passer rating of 113.

Now, Brock Purdy has a chance to lead San Francisco to its first Super Bowl championship since the 1994-95 campaign.

And to think: if Rhule had his way, the current Super Bowl would probably look very different.

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