Niners Live is starting a new series in our second semester of the off-season and to kick things off we now, bring you 49ers: Developmental Stage featuring QB C. J. Beathard.
Who is C. J. Beathard?
The grandson of former NFL general manager Bobby Beathard, the 6’2 215-pound Beathard was selected in the third round with the 104th overall pick out of Iowa. In his career, he amassed a 21-7 record starting 28 games, completing 58.1 percent of his passes while throwing for 5,562 yards, 40 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. In 2016, he was named a captain and earned Academic and honorable mention All-Big Ten honors. In addition, he was the recipient of the team’s Hayden Fry Award, Most Valuable Player Award offense, and the Players Choice Award.
Familiarity and Toughness
Beathard was evaluated by head coach Kyle Shanahan as tough as s___, and drew comparisons to Redskins QB Kirk Cousins by not only displaying confidence, but also the mobility and accuracy Shanahan is looking for. He also comes from a pro-style offense at Iowa, which is why he should make a smooth transition into the style of offense coaching Shanahan is looking to deploy. “I know how to break down an offense and look at an offense. The terminology is completely different, but it (the playbook) does make sense,” said Beathard, (via Matt Maiocco).
General Manager John Lynch made an appearance on PFT Live with Mike Florio, and he got a chance to discuss the 49ers rookie QB. “Aside from the talent, in tight spaces and in tight windows, he can really rip the ball. But I think his toughness speaks to me and Kyle. This is a guy that will get hit, stand up, and that seems to be a quality all the great ones have.”
Recapping his rookie deal: The 49ers signed Beathard to a four-year deal with a base salary of $465,000 guaranteed for 2017.
While Beathard has been somewhat solid so far this 2017 off-season, throwing with timing and plenty of zip, he is still being brought along slowly and is still a major work in progress. As a below 60 percent passer in a pro-style offense and clearly lacking the proper mechanics to be a successful NFL quarterback, it’s been a little telling that while starting QB Brian Hoyer has looked poised and in full command of the offense, veteran backup Matt Barkley, Beathard and Nick Mullens have looked like backups and, in the case of the latter two, rookies.
Beathard will be an interesting player to watch, especially since the 49ers used a much higher pick on him than expected and had him as the only QB on their draft board. However, if things continue to develop at this pace, Beathard will indeed enter the season as the number three on the team’s depth chart and may be hard pressed to see any meaningful playing time in the regular season.
Thus far, prematurely speaking of course, through the first semester of the off-season it doesn’t seem as though the 49ers have found their long-term answer or future franchise signal caller for the long term. So far in OTA’s and mini camps Beathard, as expected, is still seen to be in developmental mode, but will get his fair share of reps as the off-season turns (training camp) and in the pre-season to prove himself as a possible answer for at least a viable back-up role or best-case scenario, a diamond in the rough who can be developed into a potential starting QB within the next two seasons.
Please join us again soon on Niners Live, the home of the fan and analyst.
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All records, statistics, and accolades are courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com, Pro Football Focus, 49ers.com, ESPN.com, NFL.com unless otherwise indicated. Author, Irvin Johnson Staff Writer at Niners Live. Co-Author, Editor Niners Live.