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Ex-Panthers Coach Proclaims He Wanted Brock Purdy on Draft Board


San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy is known for being the 2022 NFL draft’s “Mr. Irrelevant,” as he was the last name called in the seventh and final round.

Now he is set to play in his first Super Bowl on Sunday in just his second year in the league, after only starting 21 regular-season games.

Though, things could have gone very differently for Purdy. He could’ve landed with the Carolina Panthers instead of the Super Bowl LVIII-bound 49ers, at least according to former head coach Matt Rhule.

Rhule, who now coaches Nebraska, told the media on Wednesday that he pitched for Purdy to be on the team’s draft board. However, the former Carolina coach’s idea was quickly shot down.

“When I was in the draft room at Carolina, I brought his name up,” Rhule said. “I said, ‘Hey guys, he should be on the draft board.’ I got vetoed on that one.”

Instead, the Panthers drafted quarterback Matt Corral out of Ole Miss in the third round. Corral didn’t play in a single regular season game for the Panthers, then was claimed off waivers by the New England Patriots ahead of the 2023 NFL season, but was ultimately released in mid-September.

Purdy led the 49ers to their third-straight NFC championship. But after suffering an injury last season in the conference championship against the Philadelphia Eagles, Purdy and the 49ers advanced to the Super Bowl this year with a 34-31 victory over the Detroit Lions. San Francisco finished 12–4 when Purdy started. He threw for 4,280 yards and 31 passing touchdowns.

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