November 2, 2018

Let’s appreciate this Nick Mullens moment, however long it lasts

Before Thursday, no quarterback in the illustrious history of the San Francisco 49ers had ever thrown more than one touchdown pass in their debut. Not Joe Montana. Not Steve Young. Nick Mullens did it by halftime.
By the end of his first NFL game, Mullens had 262 passing yards, three touchdowns, and a passer rating of 151.9.
Marcus Mariota’s four-touchdown performance and perfect passer rating of 158.3 is the only better debut start in NFL history. But Mariota was the No. 2 overall selection and a Heisman Trophy winner. What made Mullens’ first game particularly special is that it came completely out of left field.
Mullens, 23, went undrafted in 2017, despite smashing all of the passing records at Southern Miss — the alma mater of Brett Favre. This was how NFL.com described Mullens in a breakdown of his skills prior to the 2017 NFL Draft:
BOTTOM LINE Mullens is a productive college quarterback with good competitiveness and toughness, but lacking the minimum standards of size and arm strength. Mullens could make it into camp, but is unlikely to find a spot on a roster.
He landed a contract with the 49ers and did enough to show he was worth a spot on the practice squad, where he spent his entire rookie year. He probably would’ve stayed there for his second season too, had Jimmy Garoppolo’s torn ACL not forced the 49ers to put Mullens on the active roster at the end of September.
A little over a month later, he became No. 1 on the depth chart for the Thursday Night Footballgame against the Raiders due to a wrist injury for C.J. Beathard. And he balled the hell out.


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