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Clayton Tune Might Be Another Purdy Good Late-Round QB

Fifth-round selection has similar analytics to 49ers diamond-in-rough

Quarterback Clayton Tune throws a pass during rookie minicamp in front of quarterbacks coach Israel Woolfork.
Quarterback Clayton Tune throws a pass during rookie minicamp in front of quarterbacks coach Israel Woolfork.

The math has long held that, despite the storybook outlier of a certain seven-time Super Bowl winner, the top quarterbacks are usually taken in the first round of the draft.

But there are some examples otherwise, and after Brock Purdy went from being the final pick of the entire 2022 draft to a quarterback that nearly led the 49ers to the Super Bowl, there was reason for teams to try and replicate that draft magic efficiency.

Maybe the Cardinals have done that with Clayton Tune, the team's first of two fifth-round draft picks.

"I respect his game a lot," Tune said. "I don't really compare myself to anybody. I'm competing against myself. So when people say those things, I'm kind of indifferent towards it. (Purdy) did a lot of great things and to have the success he had would be great, but it's really just a competition with myself."

This isn't to say the games of Purdy and Tune are similar. But an analytical site – – recently posted an comprehensive article with the data backing up why teams need to get their quarterbacks early in the draft (no position yields a higher volume of high-value players in the first round.)

But the data was also used to put together a profile of Purdy, and what QB might be similar in this year's draft class using key statistics from college: time to throw variance, middle-of-the-field throw rate, pressure-to-sack rate, average depth of target, and experience (snaps in college).

The result? "Data would suggest Clayton Tune from Houston, who has a similar profile as Brock Purdy, is poised to overperform his current later round draft expectations," the article explained.

"I try to stay away from all that stuff," Tune said. "I try not to listen to the media. I'm here to work hard and put my best foot forward and do something I can look back on and be happy with."

Coach Jonathan Gannon wouldn't say the Cardinals went into the draft specifically thinking about taking a quarterback – "We explore all possibilities," he said – but bringing in a lottery ticket at the position can't hurt. The Cardinals do have to find a QB depth chart to begin the season that won't include the injured Kyler Murray, and the ceilings of Colt McCoy, David Blough and Jeff Driskel are already known.

"He's a little bit different than the other quarterbacks we have here," Gannon said.

The Cardinals had an idea of what they might have before Tune was drafted; current quarterbacks coach Israel Woolfork coached Tune at the Senior Bowl when Woolfork was still part of the Cleveland Browns' staff.

Tune, who threw for nearly 12,000 yards and 104 touchdowns at Houston, also caught people's attention when he said he believed he was the best quarterback in the 2023 class the day he was drafted.

"He's a confident guy and that's what you want from everybody out there," Gannon said. "But ultimately you need to put in the work day-by-day, speak softly, and carry a big stick."

Tune admitted he was a little surprised at the reaction to the comment, but "I am confident in who I am and how I play."

"I'm not the type of guy who's going to act like I'm this and that, but I am very confident in my abilities and now it's up to me," he added.

With Murray rehabbing, the other Purdy similarity is the need to find someone to play the position after an injury. Like Purdy, it seems unlikely Tune gets on the field barring other injuries – but then again, there figures to be early opportunity for Tune to show if he indeed can be Purdy good.

"I try not to think about it," Tune said. "I'll try to do my job the best I can. I still have a lot to learn. Finding my role is my focus … and providing value for the team, whatever that looks like, doing the best I can do at that."

Images of the Arizona Cardinals 2023 Rookie Minicamp at Dignity Health Training Facility