How 49ers QB Brock Purdy Can Take His Game to the Next Level

He's only 24, and yet he plays the game like a 35-year-old veteran. As far as the mental side of the game goes, he's one of the best quarterbacks in the league.
Jan 28, 2024; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) runs
Jan 28, 2024; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) runs / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
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Brock Purdy is one of the most advanced young quarterbacks the NFL has seen in quite some time.

He's only 24, and yet he plays the game like a 35-year-old veteran. As far as the mental side of the game goes, he's one of the best quarterbacks in the league. He has a complete understanding of his offensive scheme and the defense's coverages and how to beat them. It will be hard for him to improve the cerebral part of his game.

It also will be hard for him to improve as a pocket passer. Technically, he can make his arm marginally stronger and add a little zip to his throws over time. But he can't get taller. And he won't get significantly more accurate than he already is. So defenses always will want to keep him in the pocket.

And that's why Brock Purdy needs to run more.

Purdy has shown that he can dice up zone coverage because he can anticipate the opening and throw to those spots. So in the playoffs, he saw lots of man-to-man coverage, which was a bigger challenge for him because there weren't open windows to throw to.

If defenses turn their back on Purdy and chase his receivers man-to-man all over the field, they're daring him to scramble. So that's exactly what he should do. He's an extremely dangerous scrambler, partly because that's the last aspect of the 49ers offense that teams can prepare to stop.

Purdy simply needs to be more decisive and aggressive as a scrambler. Instead of running 2 or 3 times per game, he should run 4 or 5 times per game the way Jeff Garcia and Steve Young would. Because those runs can win games.


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Grant Cohn

GRANT COHN

Grant Cohn has covered the San Francisco 49ers daily since 2011. He spent the first nine years of his career with the Santa Rosa Press Democrat where he wrote the Inside the 49ers blog and covered famous coaches and athletes such as Jim Harbaugh, Colin Kaepernick and Patrick Willis. In 2012, Inside the 49ers won Sports Blog of the Year from the Peninsula Press Club. In 2020, Cohn joined FanNation and began writing All49ers. In addition, he created a YouTube channel which has become the go-to place on YouTube to consume 49ers content. Cohn's channel typically generates roughly 3.5 million viewers per month, while the 49ers' official YouTube channel generates roughly 1.5 million viewers per month. Cohn live streams almost every day and posts videos hourly during the football season. Cohn is committed to asking the questions that 49ers fans want answered, and providing the most honest and interactive coverage in the country. His loyalty is to the reader and the viewer, not the team or any player or coach. Cohn is a new-age multimedia journalist with an old-school mentality, because his father is Lowell Cohn, the legendary sports columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle from 1979 to 1993. The two have a live podcast every Tuesday. Grant Cohn grew up in Oakland and studied English Literature at UCLA from 2006 to 2010. He currently lives in Oakland with his wife.