It wasn’t a surprise when the San Francisco 49ers benched Brian Hoyer for rookie C.J. Beathard. Actually, that isn’t strictly true — most expected a couple more games of Hoyer before he gave way to Beathard, the unknown and raw rookie with a ceiling that many view as a moving target.
Beathard will instead have plenty of time to impress the 49ers and earn the nod going into the offseason ... and also plenty of time to completely and utterly fail.
That’s just the truth of things. Beathard was not one of the top quarterbacks in the draft and statistically speaking, he has a theoretical ceiling that isn’t as high as someone like a Jared Goff or someone else.
The conventional wisdom is that the 49ers will invest again in the position next year — whether they draft someone early or try and sign someone like Kirk Cousins. In reality, the chances of Beathard actually being the starting quarterback in 2018 are slim. So slim, in fact, that some would say he has no chance.
I’m not there, myself, but the harsh reality of being an NFL quarterback make me believe we’re not too far off from that. I don’t think Beathard is going to do much this year — he’s too raw and the 49ers aren’t good enough around him. But I do wonder: what would it take for him to actually give the 49ers enough confidence to not seriously address the position next year?
If they somehow become convinced that Beathard could be the answer, it wouldn’t make sense to draft a quarterback in the first round. They would still likely add another veteran body to compete, but they wouldn’t want to waste a draft pick if they think the quarterback of the future is on the roster.
How well would he have to play to make that future a reality? Is it even possible? Does he have to throw for 20 touchdowns? A stupidly high completion percentage? Nail the deep ball consistently? What do ya’ll think?