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Former Panthers coach Matt Rhule roasted for saying he considered drafting Brock Purdy in 2022 | Sporting News

Now that Brock Purdy is officially a Super Bowl-caliber quarterback, everyone’s claiming they saw it coming.

Purdy’s story of being the last pick in the 2022 NFL Draft to a star on the Super Bowl stage is as improbable as they come. In fact, he’s the only Mr. Irrelevant quarterback to ever take a single snap in the NFL, never mind lead a team to the big game.

Purdy’s success story wouldn’t even be believable if it was scripted in a movie, yet, during Super Bowl media week, we’ve already seen two head coaches declare that they were early on the Purdy train.

First, it was his own head coach, Kyle Shanahan, who claimed he told 49ers owner Jed York that “our third guy’s the best,” in reference to Purdy being better than Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance. San Francisco general manager John Lynch has since confirmed that story, stating that his “jaw hit the floor” when Shanahan told York.

So, Shanahan gets a pass for saying he predicted the future.

MORE: How Brock Purdy proved Cam Newton’s ‘game manager’ take wrong during 49ers’ Super Bowl run

What did Matt Rhule say about Brock Purdy?

One day later, former Panthers head coach Matt Rhule tried to take a similar stance. The now-Nebraska head coach told the media, “When I was in the draft room at Carolina, I brought [Brock Purdy]’s name up. I said, ‘Hey guys, he should be on the draft board.’

“I got vetoed on that one,” Rhule said.

Rhule’s revisionist claim is … not as believable.

It’s worth mentioning that Purdy threw for a combined 572 yards and scored four touchdowns while going 1-1 against Rhule’s Baylor Bears when he was at Iowa State, so Rhule saw firsthand how effective Purdy can be. Still, it sounds like the coach’s hindsight is 20-20.

In the 2022 NFL Draft, the Panthers selected Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral with their third-round pick. Unless Carolina considered taking two QBs or Rhule was pushing for the Panthers to hold off on drafting a QB to take Purdy in a later round, it’s tough to believe Rhule’s statement.

Carolina had also added former No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield that offseason while keeping former No. 3 overall pick Sam Darnold on their roster, further hurting Rhule’s claim.

Here’s a list of who the Panthers drafted that season: 

First Round (6th overall): OT Ikem Ekwonu, NC State
Third Round (94): QB Matt Corral, Ole Miss
Fourth Round (120): LB Brandon Smith, Penn State
Sixth Round (189): DE Amare Barno, Virginia Tech
Sixth Round (199): OL Cade Mays, Tennessee
Seventh Round (242): CB Kalon Barnes, Baylor

Not exactly a murderer’s row. 

The internet was quick to jump all over the Nebraska head coach, calling “cap” and posting the classic LeBron James meme from when he said he knew Kobe Bryant was going to score 81 points on the night he did.

MORE: Why Super Bowl matchup will be among Brock Purdy’s toughest tests yet

Did Matt Rhule think Purdy was underrated going into the draft? Maybe, but that’s like everyone in your fantasy football league claiming they knew Puka Nacua was underrated after he had 10 catches for 119 yards in Week 1. Considering Purdy was on the board until the last pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, Rhule clearly didn’t put up much of a fight for him.  

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