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Brock Purdy
NFL Draft

Iowa State’s Brock Purdy Knows What He Brings to the Table

  • Crissy Froyd
  • April 8, 2022
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Former Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy made notable strides between the 2021 and 2022 seasons, something that was evident both in the numbers and on the film as he finished out the year with a career-high completion percentage of 71.7% and 3,188 passing yards.

Purdy prides himself on his accuracy, which is derived from solid lower-body mechanics that may be some of the most sound in this draft class. He has a quick processing ability, goes through his progressions well and has enough mobility to extend plays and occasionally make some of his own, even when that calls for putting his body on the line to move the chains. That’s something we saw a lot of last season.

“I think I’m really decisive,” Purdy said. “I know where I want to go with the ball and I’m accurate when I do it.”

Outside of the tangibles, pure experience is one of the biggest advantages Purdy has after playing four years of Power 5 football as a starter. Purdy left a mark on Iowa State, now the owner of 31 school records, helping lead the team to seven ranked wins, two of which were in the top-10.

“Taking a program that didn’t really have any history to it in terms of being successful – going there and turning things around making a name for the program in the Big 12,” Purdy said. “Last season, just being able to go in and give my team a chance no matter what game it was or who we were playing, I felt like I was giving my team a chance and I was elevating my teammates’ game and their play.”

Purdy did some of his best work bringing the Cyclones to new heights in October, which has become known to fans as “Brocktober” because that’s when Purdy has played his best football over the years.

“You have all this nerve and juice going into the season, but I think, come October, that’s when I’m in my best rhythm,” Purdy said. “To have a certain answer, like, ‘It’s October, I’m just going to turn on the on switch,’ that’s not the truth. It’s just getting the first couple games under my belt and rolling from there.”

He turned in a standout performance in the 24-21 victory over No. 8-ranked Oklahoma State, completing 27-of-33 passes (81.8%) for 307 passing yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions.

It was after that Head Coach Matt Campbell had some strong words for those who had been knocking Purdy.

“I think there probably were not a lot of nice things said about Brock Purdy early in the season,” Campbell said. “Foolish, but whatever […] I think all those people that maybe said those not nice things about Brock Purdy should really look in the mirror tonight and say, ‘Boy, how grateful are we at Iowa State to have that young man leading this program?’”

But criticism, substantiated or not, is something Purdy has grown used to. One of the biggest knocks on him is the notion that he can’t throw the deep ball. That was dispelled in a win over Oklahoma State where he sent a 68-yarder to wide receiver Tarique Milton in the face of pressure.

 

 

Purdy is aware of this stigma that surrounds him but is also confident he did what he needed to this offseason at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine and pro day to overcome it and make people do some rethinking. According to Eric Galko of the Shrine Bowl, Purdy was 57-of-60 at pro day with two drops from receivers, successfully making throws at all levels of the field – including those of 20 yards or more.

“(The deep ball) is not on the tape as much,” Purdy said. “Coaches want to see 11-on-11, pressure in your face, you’re not in rhythm – if you’re moved off your spot, can you still make that deep-ball throw? I think that’s what it’s going to come down to when I’m on a team, at practice, at camp, whatever it is. But I think it was good to showcase it like ‘oh hey, he can make that throw, let’s give him a shot in practice and let’s see if he can do it then, that’s what it’ll come down to but I did show it at the combine and at pro day.”

Purdy didn’t have a lot of opportunities to make deep passes over his college career because of the way the Iowa State offense was built out, tailored to star running back Breece Hall, who is largely projected to be selected in the first or second round of the 2022 NFL Draft. The Cyclones ran a lot of 12 and 13 personnel with tight ends and very much had a run-first mentality.

“We wanted to run the ball really well and then we get in certain situations where we have to throw it, we throw it,” said Purdy. “For me, whenever I get that knock, if we alter the playcalling to, ‘Hey, let’s attack and throw it deep’ I know that I can do that. I did that growing up and I did that early on in my career. You’ve just got to watch the film for yourself to really see that.”

Purdy has met with all but five NFL teams ahead of the draft and conversations have ranged from what he brings to the table as a player to decision-making on plays.

“Obviously we talk about my strengths and my weaknesses and then they ask me, ‘Alright, where do you see yourself, what did you do well and what didn’t you do well?’” Purdy said. “They want to see me being honest with myself. They’ll pull up some clips of some turnovers or other plays where you should have just thrown the ball away, just owning up to that and not trying to have an excuse for it. I know what I have to do and what I have to get better at with decision-making. But I think overall that as far as going over everything and talking over things that my football IQ was on display for all the teams I met with.”

It will be interesting to see how the process plays out for Purdy at the end of the month when teams are on the clock, but there’s no doubt he’s flashed potential on tape and has shown enough for a team to give him a chance to grow into something this fall.

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Crissy Froyd