There's no denying Tom Brady and Brock Purdy share some similarities when it comes to their NFL origin stories -- two late-round draft picks, both thrust into starting roles on championship-caliber teams.
One went on to become the GOAT, earning seven rings across a Hall of Fame career, while the other is trying to become the first rookie QB ever to reach the Super Bowl.
So, could Purdy, the last pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, eventually end up with as many Vince Lombardi Trophies as Brady, a sixth-round pick, when all is said and done? NBC Sports Bay Area's Donte Whitner certainly thinks it's possible.
"Hear me out, hear me out," Whitner said on the latest edition of "Hitner's Hot Take." "Brock Purdy is the second coming of Tom Brady.
"Now, listen to me. If Brock Purdy takes the 49ers to the championship and ultimately brings the Lombardi back to the Bay Area, I think that we can go ahead and crown him as the starter for the 49ers for the next decade."
Whitner reflected on Brady's ascension into the league, which saw the then-sophomore quarterback for the New England Patriots step in for an injured Drew Bledsoe during the second game of the 2001 NFL season. Brady led the Patriots to a Super Bowl victory that year, Bledsoe was traded in the offseason and the rest is history.
Similarly, Purdy became the 49ers' starter this season after first-string quarterback Trey Lance broke his ankle in Week 2 and his backup Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a broken foot in Week 13. In Whitner's eyes, that move could carry into next season despite Lance's status as the No. 3 overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft.
"Think back to when Tom Brady replaced Drew Bledsoe -- $100 million contract," Whitner continued. "Now, it's going to be Brock Purdy replacing Trey Lance, the No. 3 pick.
"But it's all predicated on these next two ball games. Brock Purdy is the second coming of Tom Brady."
Those certainly are some big expectations for Purdy to meet. Should Whitner's prediction pan out, perhaps the passing of the torch took place when Purdy led the 49ers to a 35-7 blowout over Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 14.
As always is the case with the 49ers' quarterback situation, there's plenty of time to think about who will be where on next season's depth chart in the months to come.
For now, Purdy is focused on the Philadelphia Eagles, who he'll have to get through during Sunday's NFC Championship Game in order to reach the Super Bowl.