No. 1: 49ers quarterback Brody Purdy
Yes, another late-round rookie. In this case, “Mr. Irrelevant” from the 2022 NFL Draft.
Quarterback Brock Purdy, the final pick of this year’s draft, absolutely has a path to make the 49ers’ 53-man roster this year. But it’s a path involving a lot of potential obstacles.
For starters, the Niners would have to move veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. That’s a must. San Francisco wouldn’t keep Purdy alongside Garoppolo, Trey Lance and an expensive-to-cut-because-of-dead-money QB3 in Nate Sudfeld. There’d be a maximum of three quarterbacks on the roster.
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In addition to that, Purdy would have to showcase his value enough to justify the 49ers giving him the No. 3 spot on the depth chart and not subjecting him to waivers before Week 1.
That final element is easily the most crucial, at least in terms of Purdy hanging around. The Niners won’t be coerced to keep him even if Garoppolo is moved after training camp, and two quarterbacks would still be sufficient.
San Francisco also hasn’t seen much promise out of Purdy so far, according to recent observations and reports, meaning if that trend continues for the rest of summer, he’ll be off the 53-man roster before ever being named to it.