Former NFL head coach said he ‘got vetoed’ when trying to draft Brock Purdy

Brock Purdy
Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

There were 261 players selected ahead of Brock Purdy in the 2022 NFL Draft. Now, two years later, Purdy is set to start in the Super Bowl for the San Francisco 49ers after becoming a seventh-round pick, earning the ‘Mr. Irrelevant’ label affixed to the final pick of each NFL Draft.

There were eight quarterbacks selected ahead of Purdy, with the Pittsburgh Steelers drafting two of them. Twenty-four other teams ignored the position altogether. Meanwhile, Purdy’s become the best value in the NFL, earning a salary of $870K this season, which ranks 58th among NFL QBs per Spotrac.

It’s easy to see the potential now, but only John Lynch, Kyle Shanahan, and the 49ers were actually willing to use a draft pick on Purdy. However, that doesn’t mean other teams weren’t interested.

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Matt Rhule wanted Brock Purdy on Carolina Panthers

carolina panthers
Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve previously heard reports that the Minnesota Vikings were ready to add Brock Purdy once he became an undrafted free agent, serving as a developmental option behind Kirk Cousins. Yet, Purdy never made it to free agency, with the San Francisco 49ers finally drafting the Iowa State product with the 262nd pick.

Yet, now we’re learning that Matt Rhule also wanted to draft Purdy when he was still with the Carolina Panthers.

“I think Brock Purdy is an amazing player, played against him at Iowa State. 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.”

Former Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule on wanting to draft Brock Purdy

Rhule did indeed coach against Purdy when he was still a coach at Baylor before he took the leap to the NFL. Purdy went 1-1 against Coach Rhule, one in which he had a 78% completion rate and another where he threw for 342 yards and two touchdowns.

As to getting vetoed by his own team? We’ve heard several reports of Panthers owner David Tepper being a bit too hands-on, not letting the people hired to make football decisions do their job. It’s possible that’s what happened here, or maybe it was Panthers GM Scott Fitterer.

The Panthers then traded up to take Bryce Young with the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft the following year, parting with their top receiver and a future first-round pick in the process, which ended up being the top pick in 2024 too.

Would Purdy have become the same player in Carolina as he is in San Francisco, where he benefits from a QB-friendly Kyle Shanahan system taking advantage of Christian McCaffrey, George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, and Brandon Aiyuk? We’ll never know, but it sounds like Rhule sure wanted to find out.

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