Background: Raised in the Phoenix, Arizona area. Three-star recruit according to 247Sports. Business major. Academic standout. Started 8 of 10 games played as a freshman. Started 13 games as a sophomore. Parents are married. Father played baseball at Miami and in the minor leagues. Brother, QB Chubba Purdy committed to Florida State in 2019. Sister played softball at Southeastern University. Dealt with severe mononucleosis and jaundice as a high school junior. Suffered with both left and right sprained ankles (October-December, 2019). Team Captain (2019). No known off-field concerns. Comes from a close family. Very emotionally mature. Not active on social media. Even-keel personality. Short memory. Polished with the media. Not concerned with statistics and awards. Strong relationship with coaches who praise his leadership qualities. Teammates praise his otherworldly character, ability to handle pressure and willingness to go to war with him. Takes religion very seriously. Turned down an offer from Alabama.
Strengths: Gunslinging pocket passer with an innate ability to throw accurately to all three levels, especially while on the move. On the run, he smoothly contorts his upper-body and hips to maintain accuracy from different bases, a tribute to his high level mechanics. He keeps all options open downfield with his vision and arm until a last second decision to keep it. As a runner, Purdy is deceiving with quick feet and impressive cuts for his overall athleticism. He consistently gained significant positive yardage with his legs each game, keeping the defense honest. In that way, he is very much like Andy Dalton, sliding for the first time before contact arrives. While under duress, he shows the ability to stand in the pocket and make throws in the face of defenders. He possesses the will to take risks downfield that are necessary to win in today’s offensive environment. At the same time, he frequently relied on his his check-down in the flat. Sells fakes well, both in play action and pump fakes en route. Rarely focuses eyes on one guy. Not scared of bright lights. Played 13 games in 2019 season despite suffering two ankle injuries – one to each ankle, and the left suffered multiple inflictions resulting in a high ankle sprain.
Weaknesses: Gunslinging mentality proves reckless at times, produced too many costly turnovers in big moments. Purdy often throws off of his back foot, and his arm strength is unable to compensate which leads to turnovers and overall erratic play. He seemed to struggle at times simply seeing defenders in plain sight, getting excited when he saw an opening and would just let it rip. Therefore, his vision/awareness downfield is a fundamental weakness. A Big 12 defense is very rarely an impressive unit, in comparison with other major conferences. Doesn’t have great size.
NFL Player Comparison: Andy Dalton – TCU Horned Frogs / Cincinnati Bengals / Dallas Cowboys
Everything about Purdy is reminiscent of the Red Rifle coming out of college. They both aren’t afraid to take risks downfield, their throwing motions are identical and so are their scrambling tendencies and styles. They both slide their hips effectively when mobile as part of an impressive ability to improvise. However, at times that improvisation leads to impulse reads which lead to costly and avoidable turnovers. All true for both players. Dalton currently weights 6’2″ 220 lbs while Purdy is 6’1″ 210 lbs.
Overall: Purdy is a very impressive passer with a high ceiling at the next level due to his accuracy. He can make plays happen with either his arm or his legs, and never gives up on plays, sometimes to a fault. He shows up in most big time games, and his character is renowned by all who know him. While he has enjoyed some success in his first two seasons in Ames, I see 2020 as the year he truly establishes himself among the best signal callers in College football. The NFL will be watching to see if he can do so, and if he does elevate his the play the way I envision, he will EASILY be a first round pick in 2021.