Brock Purdy’s right arm helped make former Iowa State tight end Charlie Kolar a 2022 fourth-round draft pick of the Baltimore Ravens.
And Kolar is already seeing the kind of chemistry he had with his college quarterback being developed with 49ers tight end George Kittle.
“Obviously, I don’t have access to the playbook, but I’m pretty sure some of the plays they’re completing aren’t the correct plays,” Kolar said on 49ers Talk.
“But they find a way to make it work.”
Purdy and Kolar played four college seasons together. Kolar caught 168 passes for 2,1 81 yards and 23 touchdowns at Iowa State.
He saw Purdy rise from No. 3 on the Cyclones’ depth chart as a freshman to remaining the starter for the remainder of his college career.
As an NFL rookie, the final pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, Purdy has risen from No. 3 on the 49ers' depth chart.
Kolar said it was not a surprise that Purdy was a late draft pick because of questions about his size and arm strength. But Kolar said he also had no question that whichever team got him would be grateful.
“I thought it was perfect for Brock,” Kolar said of Purdy being the 262nd selection out of 262 players drafted. “I knew he’d embrace Mr. Irrelevant, and he wouldn’t care about all that other stuff.”
The 49ers take a 12-game win streak into the NFC Championship Game against the Philadelphia Eagles, and Purdy has been at quarterback the past eight games.
Purdy has made plenty of plays from the pocket while also providing the off-script plays that were lacking from veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
That element of Purdy’s game has been successful for him at every level.
“Sometimes when he wasn’t playing great, I’d hope he’d just start scrambling because I knew when he scrambled some crazy stuff would happen,” Kolar said.
That is style might also be part of the reason Purdy has a way of keeping tight ends happy. Kittle had a career-high 11 touchdown receptions this season, seven coming after Purdy entered the lineup.
And many, as Kolar suspected, were not how coach Kyle Shanahan drew them up.
“When he starts to scramble he does a good job of keeping his eyes downfield,” Kolar said of Purdy. “And when you’re running a route in the middle of field, and he starts to scramble, you can go anywhere. There’s a lot of freedom. I think tight ends and slot receivers do a good job of that.”
Purdy will be in the spotlight Sunday against the Eagles, who led the NFL this season with 70 sacks. Kolar does not expect Purdy to change.
“I think he’ll be the same Brock you’ve been seeing: Poised, making good plays,” Kolar said.
While the 49ers have won ever game since Purdy took over following Garoppolo's injury, he has thrown 16 touchdowns with three interceptions and no fumbles lost.
“It’s interesting he hasn’t faced a ton of adversity, yet," Kolar said. "He hasn’t faced a big deficit. He hasn’t come out and thrown three picks.
"I think what you’ll see with Brock is even when those bad plays happen, he’ll find a way to battle back and give your team a chance to win.”