Super Bowl LVIII, featuring the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers, is set to take place at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada, on February 11.
Let’s rewind 652 days prior to Super Bowl Sunday to April 30, 2022, when a relatively unknown quarterback found himself in the same city, anxiously awaiting his fate before the draft concluded.
That quarterback was Brock Purdy, who managed to hear his name called just before the draft wrapped up, albeit as the 262nd overall pick in the seventh round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Dubbed “Mr. Irrelevant” for being the last pick, Purdy would soon prove his relevance in a remarkable way.
Initially slated as the San Francisco 49ers’ third-string quarterback, Purdy’s journey to prominence accelerated due to injuries within the team. Trey Lance, the starting quarterback, fell to injury, followed by Jimmy Garoppolo, which thrust Purdy into the starting position.
This season marks Purdy’s first full stint as a starter, and his efforts have propelled his team to the Super Bowl, making him the first “Mr. Irrelevant” quarterback to start in such a prestigious game.
(Super Bowl LVIII will be aired on CBS and Nickelodeon, with streaming available on Paramount+; here’s how to watch.)
While Purdy holds the distinction of being the lowest-drafted quarterback to start in a Super Bowl, there have been two quarterbacks who went undrafted yet led their teams to the pinnacle of the sport: Kurt Warner and Jake Delhomme.
Kurt Warner, an undrafted talent from the University of Northern Iowa, embarked on a unique journey. Following his undrafted status in 1994, Warner’s path took him through various trials, including a stint in NFL Europe with the Amsterdam Admirals.
Eventually, he rose to prominence as the starting quarterback for the St. Louis Rams, leading them to victory in Super Bowl XXXIV and earning numerous accolades, including NFL MVP and Super Bowl MVP.
Jake Delhomme’s story mirrors Warner’s in some respects. Undrafted in 1997, Delhomme initially struggled to find his footing in the NFL.
However, he found success with the Carolina Panthers, leading them to Super Bowl XXXVIII and putting up an impressive performance despite falling short to the New England Patriots.
In essence, these quarterbacks, despite being overlooked in the draft, showcased resilience and skill, leaving an indelible mark on the sport by reaching the pinnacle of success in the Super Bowl.