Who Is C.J. Beathard?
So, the San Francisco 49ers have just selected C.J. Beathard and now you want to know more about him, right?
Well, Beathard was a two-year starter for the Iowa Hawkeyes who started 27 games in his tenure with the program. In those 27 career starts, Beathard finished with an impressive 20-7 record, which included an undefeated regular season, a Big Ten Championship appearance, and a Rose Bowl appearance in the 2015-2016 season.
As a sophomore, Beathard battled for the starting spot throughout the regular season with then incumbent starter Jake Rudock (now of the Detroit Lions). However, it wasn’t until his junior season that he was able to officially take full control of the job. In his junior season, Beathard received team MVP and second-team All-Big Ten honors after throwing for over 2,800 yards with 17 touchdowns and only five interceptions.
However, in his senior season, Beathard’s numbers dipped as he threw for just over 1,900 yards with 17 touchdowns and 10 interceptions; a considerable step back from what was a widely considered a great junior season.
What Does He Bring To The Table?
While at Iowa, Beathard played in a pro-style system that prepared him very well for the NFL game, as he was given full control of the offense pre-snap. In addition, Beathard is above average in terms of arm strength and touch and mechanically, he’s about as sound as they come.
With all that said, Beathard’s defining trait as a prosepct is the level toughness and resilience he brings to the table; he can stare down the gun barrell and deliver a good pass when needed and he’s more than capable of playing through injury, as he did for much of 2015.
If you would like a full in-depth breakdown of Beathard’s game feel free to take step inside our very own draft film room:
What Kind Of Athlete Is He?
Although Beathard is able to extend plays with his legs and pick up first downs when the situation calls for it, as an athlete, Beathard isn’t going to blow anybody away.
With that said, at Iowa’s pro day in late March, he went on to post impressive numbers in the three-cone, 20-yard shuttle, vertical jump, and broad jump while measuring in at just a tick under 6’3”. Although he may not be the cream of the crop in regards to athleticism, there shouldn’t be much concern with his athleticism as he makes his transition to the next level.
What Are His Negatives?
As I mentioned earlier when referencing his toughness, during his tenure as Iowa’s starting quarterback, Beathard dealt with a number of injuries — some major, some not.
Football players are bound to get injured from time to time — it’s the risk associated with playing the game. However, many of the hits Beathard took during his tenure were more a product of reckless play, as he doesn’t always look to protect himself as a runner, which opens the door for a lot of unnecessary punishment.
In addition, Beathard’s step back in 2016 is a cause for concern. Year to year progression for quarterbacks — more than any other position — is a very important evaluation factor. Only time will tell, but the regression in his senior season should certainly raise a few eyebrows.
Was He Worth The Pick?
Well, that all depends on what your expectations are for him.
At the next level, Beathard projects out as a long-term backup or spot starter at the quarterback position and I don’t think there’s enough upside in his game to ever put him over that hump. With that said, his intelligence, toughness, and on-field refinement will be enough to keep him in the league for a while.
So, yes. If the 49ers know who they’re drafting, he’ll probably end up being worth the selection.