No. 2: Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers
Mr. Irrelevant in the 2022 NFL Draft, Brock Purdy only started five games in year one but finished third in Offensive Rookie of the Year voting. This is due to how well he played in that short time as the starter. Purdy threw for 1,374 yards and 13 touchdowns in the regular season and was playing very well in the playoffs before injuring his elbow.
Purdy required surgery to repair his UCL in March, but it seems like he should be ready for the start of the season. And all reports indicate that he is the starter if he’s healthy.
The 49ers, however, are in a spot where they have to go with whoever the best option is, as they are firmly in win-now mode. If Purdy struggles because of the injury, they might have to go in a different direction.
The 49ers signed Sam Darnold to a one-year deal worth up to $11.5 million as insurance in case the former Iowa State star is not ready to go. Between Darnold and Trey Lance, the 49ers have a couple of interesting options ready to go behind Brock Purdy.