The San Francisco 49ers have advanced to the Divisional Round of the 2022-23 NFL Playoffs. QB Brock Purdy is a big reason why, and with each performance, he's given their front office more and more reason to believe he could be the future at quarterback.

What on earth do they do at the quarterback in 2023 and beyond? And why does it feel like we ask ourselves this question every season?

The Trey Lance conundrum

As a reminder, the 49ers mortgaged their entire future to trade up for QB Trey Lance. Prior to the draft, San Francisco traded the No. 12 and a third-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, along with a 2022 first-round pick, and a 2023 first-round pick to move up to No. 3, where they selected the North Dakota State prospect.

The issue with Lance is, however, that we still have virtually no idea what he can do. One of his biggest knocks coming out of college was his lack of experience. Now, two years later, he still doesn't really have any.

How Purdy stacks up

Here's a look at Brock Purdy's stats since Week 13 (and where he ranks among other quarterbacks, including the postseason, with at least 50 pass attempts).

  • 115.1 passer rating (1st)

  • 16 passing touchdowns (2nd)

  • 1,640 passing yards (9th)

  • 67% completion rate (9th)

He's gone 6-0 as a starter. Simply put — the kid is far outplaying his draft stock and defying all of our expectations. Though Kyle Shanahan's system is generally a friendly one to the quarterbacks who play in it, he's given the front office more than enough to consider when choosing the quarterback of the future.

So, what do the 49ers do now?

Honestly, there have been way too many Brock Purdy-Tom Brady comparisons for my liking, but their stories are sounding kind of similar. Consider the following:

Tom Brady, a sixth-round pick, stepped in for QB Drew Bledsoe following an injury. The Patriots went on to win the Super Bowl that year (still well within the realm of possibility for the 49ers), where Brady won Super Bowl MVP (still well within the realm of possibility for Brock Purdy, if he continues on this path) and won the starting job.

Maybe Brock is next.

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