The 2022 NFL Draft could have looked a lot different for the Miami Dolphins if they had drafted Brock Purdy in round seven instead of Skylar Thompson.
In 2022 it became readily apparent that the Miami Dolphins were going to use their seventh-round draft choice on a camp arm, a third-string quarterback. With that pick, number 247 in the draft, the Dolphins selected Kansas State quarterback Skylar Thompson.
That means that they chose a quarterback and they did not draft Brock Purdy. 49ers General Manager John Lynch did what Miami General Manager Chris Grier did not do. He found a championship quarterback in the scrap heap, while Grier found a quarterback from the scrap heap that might not be on the roster next season.
I know that there were 261 players selected before Purdy, but the Dolphins decided to go with the best quarterback left on the board in the seventh round so that they could have another arm for training camp who could potentially be the third-string quarterback, or land on the practice squad.
Once again, with the choice between two similarly situated players, the Dolphins made the wrong decision.
No knock on Thompson, who might be good at holding a clipboard and running the scout team, but the Dolphins were one move away from drafting Purdy. It sort of reminds you of when Nick Saban picked Daunte Culpepper over Drew Brees. Another bad flip of the coin. Culpepper accomplished nothing and Brees won a Super Bowl with the New Orleans Saints and went to have a soon-to-be guaranteed first ballot Pro Football Hall of Fame career.
The Dolphins went ahead and grabbed Thompson at 247, while Purdy was sitting there at 262 for the 49ers to pluck from the skies. All Purdy is doing is his best Tom Brady impression as a late-round pick, he was Mr. Irrelevant for heaven's sake. This is not supposed to be happening.
All Purdy has done is lead the 49ers to two consecutive NFC Championship Game berths, with one win and a trip to Super Bowl LVIII which will be played tomorrow night.
The 49ers pulled the trigger on Purdy, an awkward looking quarterback from Iowa State, and is going to play for a World Championship, while Miami put their chips in on Thompson, who quarterbacked his way to a first-round playoff exit in 2022.
When starter Tua Tagovailoa and backup Teddy Bridgewater both went down with injuries Thompson could not get that elusive playoff win in Buffalo. In the same situation, Purdy made the most of his opportunities and has already led his team to two NFC Championship games.
Bridgewater went down with a thumb injury against the New England Patriots and was replaced by Thompson. Instead of showing the spark that he showed in the pre-season, Thompson looked like a rookie and the Dolphins were overmatched by the lowly Patriots, who finished the season with a losing record and a high draft choice once again.
With Tagovailoa already out with an injury, had Thompson been Mr. Irrelevant, which he is apparently is right now, Purdy could have come in to rescue the Dolphins. Just like he did the 49ers when backup Jimmy Garoppolo went down against the very same Dolphins during a week 13 game in San Francisco, Purdy could have energized the Dolphins in the same fashion that he defeated them, and gave Miami some reason for optimism going into the late stages of the season and the playoffs.
While Purdy was winning late-season games for the 49ers, Thompson was losing for the Dolphins and went 19-of-33 against the New York Jets, in his NFL debut for 166 yards, a pick and no touchdowns. When they limped into the playoffs at Buffalo, the Dolphins had absolutely zero chance of competing in that game.
Somewhere, there is an unidentified scout, for Miami, who was pounding the tables for Thompson, when they could have been pounding the tables for Purdy.
I bet that scout is rethinking his pick and kicking himself for not scouting Purdy better and making sure that the former Cyclone was the Dolphins pick at 247. Monday Morning Quarterback is easy to play in sports, but both quarterbacks went on to perform in the Big XII and both quarterbacks were selected in the seventh round. If the Dolphins flipped a coin, they called heads, when it came up tails.
This is not to say that Purdy is better than Tagovailoa, or that he would have been the starter in 2023, But, could you imagine the Purdy magic working in Miami in 2022, when they were turning to their third-string quarterback, instead of it working against the Dolphins.
For Miami, when Bridgewater went down, it was exit stage right, season is over. For the 49ers and their Faithful, the fun was only starting when they lost Jimmy G.
Purdy came into his first NFL regular season game, cold, and defeated the Dolphins at home. He had ice running through his veins and had nothing to lose. But for Jimmy G being knocked out by the Dolphins defense, Purdy would have been an after thought and might not have ever seen the field. However, when push came to shove, Purdy stepped up and performed like a winner. Thompson, well, he played like a rookie and not a superstar and looked like.....Thompson.
This is to say that Purdy is much better than Thompson and has gotten the most out of his skills, while Thompson is more comfortable, and looks better standing on the sidelines next to head coach Mike McDaniel, watching Tua start against other NFL teams.
This is all the while Purdy is being interviewed at Super Bowl Opening Night and playing for his first Super Bowl title in only his second season. Thompson will be watching Purdy, much like he did in college and as Dolphins' fans we can only play the "what if" game once again.
You have to be thinking that things could have been different had Miami used that 247th pick on Purdy.
While Thompson had an outstanding pre-season in 2022 and made a splash by being able to hit a receiver in stride with his right arm and can throw a ball into a tight window, he is by no means Brock Purdy.
Purdy can extend plays with his legs and get big first downs, and also knows when the throw the ball away. Thompson is a limited quarterback in his reads and progressions and throws the ball up for grabs to his first read, whether he is open or not, as he scrambles from the pocket.
However, conversely, the Dolphins could have selected Purdy, had the same results as they have had with Thompson, and Skylar could be starting for the 49ers in the Super Bowl.
That is just the luck of the Dolphins and the agony that fans go through rooting for the team. It always appears when the Dolphins play "Let's Make a Deal" and have to pick between door number one, or door number two, they make the wrong pick and end up watching the latter rounds of the playoffs at home. They get the goat, not the GOAT, and the 49ers have just finished playing in their second consecutive NFC Championship Game and are 24 hours from playing in the Super Bowl.
Maybe as Dolphins fans we are not entitled to have nice things, yet. As for that scout who chose Thompson over Purdy, I wonder what is going to be running through his mind if his sees Purdy hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy late Sunday evening in Las Vegas.
Oh, what could have been.