No. 262 and a one-in-a-million chance

By Danielle DuBois

Everyone knows the story of young quarterback Brock Purdy by now. The 24-year-old quarterback has taken the National Football League by storm over the past year and a half. Ever since the two other 49ers QBs were hit with the injury bug in 2022, Purdy has been in charge of the 49ers offense. With Super Bowl LVIII taking place on Sunday, let’s discuss the odds of a third-string quarterback bringing his team to the “Big Game.”

Let’s start from the beginning. Purdy played high school football at Perry High School in Arizona. During his time there, Purdy was a three-star recruit, throwing for over 8,000 yards with 107 touchdown passes. After three seasons of varsity football at Perry High School, Purdy committed to Iowa State University to continue his football career. According to NCAA research, 7% of high school football players play in college.

That’s a 1 in 14 chance of Purdy playing college ball.

Purdy had made the ultimate goal for any high school football player, to play D1 college football, but that was just the start of his journey. While at Iowa State, Purdy played a total of 48 games. In those 48, he threw for 12,170 yards with 81 passing touchdowns and 19 rushing touchdowns. While he had solid stats throughout his college career, making it to the NFL is extremely difficult, and only 1.6% of draft-eligible players make it into the NFL.

The odds of going from high school to college and then to the NFL is 1 in 1,000 or 0.12%.

On Saturday, April 30, 2022, the last pick in the NFL draft was announced. A man named Brock Purdy. Just like that, he had defied all odds and was officially an NFL quarterback. The new Mr. Irrelevant was introduced to the world. The chances of him playing during the upcoming season were very unlikely, however, this is a one-in-a-million story after all. After the 49ers starting quarterback, Trey Lance, suffered a season-ending ankle injury, Jimmy Garoppolo took over the offense. Just weeks later, Garoppolo went down, and the team looked upon young Purdy to save them. Since then, Purdy has been the go-to guy, throwing 5,654 yards and 44 touchdowns since last season. Purdy is also the first “Mr. Irrelevant” since 1976 to start and win a playoff game. Oh, and not to mention that he led his team to the Super Bowl this year. Something that only 16% of NFL players get to experience.

The odds of making it from high school to college to the NFL, then to the Super Bowl is 1 in 5,000. However, in Mr. Irrelevant’s case, the odds are a lot lower. Now, with some calculations using the compound probability method and lots of research on Brock Purdy’s past, the odds of him making it to the Super Bowl is 1 in 1,940,993.

So when you start to wonder why you’re hearing so much about this singular quarterback leading up to Sunday, it’s because this truly is a one-in-a-million shot and Brock Purdy is making history one pass at a time.