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Who was Mr. Irrelevant in the 2022 NFL Draft?

We take a look back at the last pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

2022 NFL Draft - Rounds 2-3 Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

Last season was a big one for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy. The Iowa State product started his NFL career with the dubious, but celebrated title of Mr. Irrelevant, aka the very last player picked in the 2022 NFL Draft. By the end of the season, he was the team’s starter, leading them all the way to the NFC Championship.

Purdy finished his college career strong. With the Cyclones in 2021, he threw for 3,188 yards, 19 touchdowns and eight picks, adding one more rushing score, earning himself an All-Big 12 selection for his efforts.

The experts didn’t give Purdy much of a shot after the Niners drafted him last season. After all, the team had two starter-worthy signal callers in Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance, the latter of whom the team traded up to draft in 2021.

Scouts pointed to his shortcomings as a passer, predicting he’d be nothing more than third-stringer, a camp arm at best. But when forced into the starting job for the 49ers late last season after injuries to Lance and Garoppolo, Purdy thrived in Kyle Shanahan’s play action offense.

Purdy ended up playing in nine games last year, taking over as the starter in Week 13, when Garoppolo got injured. He led the Niners all the way to the NFC Championship game, but was unable to finish the contest after an elbow injury that he’ll spend most of the offseason rehabbing from.

As unlikely as it once would have seemed, Purdy is still atop the depth chart under center for the 49ers. However, he’ll likely have to compete with Trey Lance for the starting job once training camp gets underway.

Still, it’s not a bad start to his career, from Mr. Irrelevant to the potential starter for the NFC’s Super Bowl favorite.