ESPN pundit Brock Purdy is 49ers QB Trey Lance picks

ESPN pundit: Brock Purdy is 49ers QB, Trey Lance picks a ‘mistake’

Even a Brock Purdy stinker in Sunday’s NFC Championship game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Philadelphia Eagles won’t be enough to cost him the starting quarterback job next year, says the former NFL player and current ESPN pundit Ryan Clark.

On Friday’s episode of “First Take,” Clark was clear on two counts. First, Purdy earned the starting nod after going through at least the NFL title game (and possibly beyond) undefeated. “That’s not a question,” Clark said. “…No matter what happens on Sunday, next year Brock Purdy is the unrivaled quarterback.”

Clark noted that Purdy clearly outperformed Jimmy Garoppolo; He’s been more consistent and has shown more ability outside the bag. And then Clark made his second bold statement: Trey Lance’s time has come and gone in the Bay Area.

“They finally have to say, whether it was Kyle Shanahan’s decision or John Lynch’s decision, ‘We made a mistake with Trey Lance. we should have picked Justin Fields. We got the wrong guy,” Clark said. “But as life would have it, as fate and fate would decree, by Mr. Irrelevant, [they] chose Brock Purdy. Until now, he doesn’t even know how to lose in the NFL.”

Just a few weeks ago, such a statement would have been considered absurd. That is no longer the case. Lance, the No. 3 pick in the 2021 NFL draft, still only 22 years old, will have a hell of a time ushering in Purdy, No. 262 pick in 2022, next season. That said, Clark is right, strange as it may sound: Lance’s future in San Francisco is certainly in the stars.

Sunday’s NFC title fight begins at 12 p.m. on Fox.