It has been a magic carpet ride for San Francisco 49ers QB Brock Purdy.
He was the last pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, which labels him as this season’s “Mr. Irrelavent.” He began the season as the 49ers’ third-string QB. Now he is leading the team that is considered a favorite to win the NFC.
Purdy has performed well since stepping in for the injured Jimmy Garoppolo in Week 13. His teammates have raved about his poise and command of the huddle. Despite his critics, he is now a big part of why San Francisco is believed to have a shot at the Super Bowl.
However, did Purdy’s play vault him into the conversation for the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award?
Let’s look at the odds.
Brock Purdy in 3-Horse Race for OROY
According to most major California sports betting sites, there look to be three or four legitimate contenders for the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award, and Purdy is definitely in the mix. Most sportsbooks have Purdy, New York Jets WR Garrett Wilson, and Seattle Seahawks RB Kenneth Walker III in the top three.
|Player||Odds to Win OROY||Sportsbook With Best Odds|
|Kenneth Walker||-130||BetMGM Sportsbook|
|Garrett Wilson||+210||DraftKings Sportsbook|
|Brock Purdy||+450||DraftKings Sportsbook|
|Christian Watson||+2500||DraftKings Sportsbook|
Odds listed as of Jan. 11, 2023.
How Purdy Stacks Up Against Other OROY Contenders
Purdy has made a strong case for himself to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. He has played the 49ers’ past six games — all wins — and he’s started the past five. Purdy has thrown for 1,374 yards while completing 67.1% of his passes. He has thrown 13 touchdown passes to go along with four interceptions and also has one rushing touchdown on his resume.
In his five starts, Purdy is a perfect 5-0. The 49ers’ offense put up at least 31 points in every one of his starts except for a short week on the road against the Seattle Seahawks. His play also helped San Francisco secure the No. 2 seed in the NFC.
There are two big knocks against Purdy winning the award. First, he has played significant action in only six games. That is less than half the season. Meanwhile, Walker played in 15 games and Wilson played in all 17 games.
The second big knock against Purdy is the perception that talented skill-position players and an all-world defense are carrying him. Some believe that almost any other QB could pull off what Purdy has in San Francisco.
While a fantastic cast surrounds Purdy, the term “carried” might be a little harsh. Yes, the 49ers’ offense is loaded. However, someone still has to get these guys the ball. Deebo Samuel can’t pass the ball to himself. Purdy deserves a ton of credit for his contributions to the 49ers winning ball games.
New York Jets WR Garrett Wilson
Even without a good quarterback, Wilson was an impressive receiving threat. In 17 games, Wilson recorded 83 catches, 1,103 receiving yards, and four touchdowns. He was one of the few bright spots on a Jets offense that looked horrible most of the season.
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Wilson led all rookies in most receiving categories. However, for a large chunk of the season, he wasn’t even considered the best rookie offensive player on his own team. RB Breece Hall was considered a front-runner for this award until he got hurt.
Still, Wilson had a great year, even with three different QBs starting at least three games.
Seattle Seahawks RB Kenneth Walker III
Most sportsbooks have Walker as the favorite to win the award. Walker had a great year in Seattle. He rushed for 1,050 yards and nine touchdowns. He wasn’t even the team’s starting RB until Week 6.
Historically, Seattle players often don’t get a ton of recognition. That may be due to the market size and how often they play in late-window games that aren’t considered the “Game of the Week.” Walker’s season has been slightly overshadowed by the rebirth of QB Geno Smith, who is a front-runner for the Comeback Player of the Year Award.
Walker’s play helped propel the Seahawks into the playoffs, a feat not many thought was possible heading into this season. While Walker doesn’t have many highlights this season that particularly stand out, his overall consistency might help give him the nod for the award.
Rookie of the Year Tends to Go to QBs
One thing playing in Purdy’s favor for the award is that NFL awards tend to lean toward the quarterbacks.
Offensive ROTY Winners (2010–Present)
|2021||Ja'Marr Chase||Cincinnati Bengals||Wide receiver|
|2020||Justin Herbert||Los Angeles Chargers||Quarterback|
|2019||Kyler Murray||Arizona Cardinals||Quarterback|
|2018||Saquon Barkley||New York Giants||Running back|
|2017||Alvin Kamara||New Orleans Saints||Running back|
|2016||Dak Prescott||Dallas Cowboys||Quarterback|
|2015||Todd Gurley||St. Louis Rams||Running back|
|2014||Odell Beckham Jr.||New York Giants||Wide receiver|
|2013||Eddie Lacy||Green Bay Packers||Running back|
|2012||Robert Griffin III||Washington||Quarterback|
|2011||Cam Newton||Carolina Panthers||Quarterback|
|2010||Sam Bradford||St. Louis Rams||Quarterback|
Over the past 12 seasons, six quarterbacks have won the Offensive Rookie of the Year.
However, there is a massive difference between Purdy and those past winners. Purdy wasn’t named his team’s starting quarterback until late in the year. Going back to 2010, all the previous QBs to win the award were named the starter relatively early. In most cases, they were the Week 1 starter.