Falcons veteran believes Stetson Bennett can do what Brock Purdy is doing

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Stetson Bennett’s career is that of a Hollywood movie script. From walk-on to JUCO to National Champion, the Georgia native is looking to parlay his collegiate success into an NFL career, and Falcons veteran cornerback Casey Hayward, a two-time All-Pro, believes Bennett can do what Brock Purdy, the 49ers’ rookie quarterback, is doing in San Francisco.

Purdy has had an impressively exciting start to his NFL career. The Niners selected the Iowa State product with the final pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, and he began the season as the team’s third-string quarterback behind Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo. Due to injuries, Purdy was thrust into the starting lineup over the last handful of games, in which he’s been one of the best-performing players at his position, and that only continued in his playoff debut.

During Saturday’s win over the Seahawks, Purdy threw for 322 yards and three touchdowns on 18-of-30 passing, marking his sixth straight win as an NFL starter. It’s been exciting to watch Purdy experience so much success, and to Hayward’s point, the rookie doesn’t have Josh Allen‘s cannon arm or Lamar Jackson‘s dazzling athleticism.

The 23-year-old has won games because he plays efficiently in Kyle Shanahan’s system, which requires a certain amount of accuracy and intelligence. His confidence can also not be understated. Some draft pundits see those attributes in Stetson Bennett as well.

Bennett went from a game manager in 2021 to a game changer in 2022, and anyone who still believes he can’t have a career in the NFL is just lying to themselves. I do not think he will be a starter on a playoff team, but Bennett has shown enough to carve out a role as a backup, which is what many believed about Purdy.

It seems regardless of who the 49ers trot out at quarterback, Shanahan is able to get the absolute most out of the position. The man is largely responsible for Matt Ryan‘s MVP campaign, the Falcons’ record-setting 2016 offense, and all of the Niners’ recent success. He might not be the best head coach ever, but his expertise on the offensive side of the ball is something to marvel at.

Brock Purdy and Stetson Bennett aren’t going to alter the course of a franchise like Joe Burrow or Trevor Lawrence, but I believe both could potentially succeed in a system like Shanahan’s with personnel like the 49ers possess.

Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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