49ers rumors: Insider paints Brock Purdy as Niners' unquestioned starter

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) / Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers may want you to think there's a quarterback competition going on, but NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco says it's Brock Purdy's job to lose.

There are still many weeks to hammer things out, but it doesn't seem as if the San Francisco 49ers have a quarterback competition heading into the 2023 season.

In one perceived corner, Trey Lance, the No. 3 overall pick from the 2021 NFL Draft for whom the Niners gave up so many assets to grab. In another corner, Sam Darnold, also a third-overall pick San Francisco had always liked and finally got hold of in NFL free agency after Darnold flamed out with both the New York Jets and Carolina Panthers.

Finally, in the last corner (sorry, Brandon Allen), is Brock Purdy, Mr. Irrelevant and the last pick from the 2022 NFL Draft who seemingly shot out of nowhere and helped invigorate the 49ers offense en route to the NFC Championship game his rookie season.

But Purdy is hurt, recovering from offseason elbow surgery from the injury suffered during that NFC Championship bout.

So, as one would reasonably believe, there's an open-ended competition this offseason between Lance and Darnold, not only to just back up Purdy but to potentially usurp him as the team's starter heading into the regular season, especially if Purdy isn't quite ready by then.

However, according to one Niners insider, that's the last thought going through the mind of San Francisco's brass.

Matt Maiocco says 49ers are giving all the clues Brock Purdy will be their starter

It might have been a big enough hint earlier this offseason. But when general manager John Lynch effectively said Purdy was going to be "the guy" going forward, there was little room for a perceived competition for the starting quarterback gig.

Regardless, there's the notion that the 49ers are going to welcome a competion for that job, and that notion has continued through offseason workouts.

Except, according to NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco, the feeling coming out of Levi's Stadium is that the starting job is Purdy's to lose.

Maiocco wrote:

"There virtually will be no way one of the other quarterbacks will be able to take the job away from Purdy based solely on practices. Why? Because Purdy already has shown in games what he brings to the team.

Lance has a stronger arm and provides more of a threat than Purdy. Darnold stands out on the practice field for his unique throwing ability.

But what Purdy proved to everyone involved with the 49ers is that he has the physical skills to succeed in the NFL, while also possessing many intangible factors that do not necessary show up during practice sessions."

Read More: Why Brock Purdy needs to be 49ers starting QB, not Trey Lance

Lynch also described Purdy as a leader in the locker room, too, which would seem to indicate the players are behind him. They may also support both Lance and Darnold, too, but Purdy being crowned the team favorite within the locker room is vital.

Maiocco said as much, too, and he also shared a quote from head coach Kyle Shanahan that essentially crowns what Purdy did on the field in contrast to what Lance "could" do:

“We know what we have [in Purdy],” Shanahan said last month. “I truly believe in my heart what Trey can be. It still takes time, and you've got to go do it. In the meantime, we have a guy sitting here who already has done it. That’s a very good thing for the Niners.”

By the sound of it, and corroborated by what Maiocco is hearing, San Francisco is all but giving Purdy the job but still wants both Darnold and Lance to gun for it, too, as competition is never a bad thing in these circumstances.

According to the latest buzz, though, nothing Lance and Darnold do in camp can unseat Purdy as QB1.

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