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Kyle Shanahan: C.J. Beathard will be 3rd string, 49ers will develop him

Kyle Shanahan was apparently a big fan.

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan met with the media Friday evening to discuss the team’s unexpected move up from the fourth round to select Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard. The move surprised a lot of us, but Shanahan was quite pleased with the move.

We should have a full transcript in the AM, but in the meantime, I thought I would post a few of his notable comments. He said that Beathard is very clearly a developmental option. Brian Hoyer is their starting quarterback and Matt Barkley is the No. 2. He thinks Beathard can develop into more, but he recognizes the 49ers new QB is a work in progress.

Shanahan praised Beathard for his leadership, toughness, work in a pro-style offense, and accuracy. I was a little confused at first because at first glance, Beathard completed 56.5 percent of his passes last season, and 61.6 percent the year before. However, Pro Football Focus ranked him as having the third in the nation for highest drop rate by his receivers. Additionally, while Beathard was sacked 58 times over two seasons, it was due to ridiculous pressure by defenses. According to PFF’s Jeff Deeney, he led the nation in 2015 in playing under pressure, and was third in 2016.

This is a very questionable pick based on what we thought we knew entering the 2017 NFL draft. Shanahan said he thought Beathard might go in the fourth round, so he felt it made sense to make the move up. Now, we get to wait and see what comes of this with NFL caliber talent. The 49ers improved their receiving options in free agency, and will continue to build moving forward.

The trade itself wasn’t bad, giving up a seventh round pick to move up five picks. The pick is where the eyebrows were raised. Beathard went off the board before guys like Nathan Peterman, Brad Kaaya, and Joshua Dobbs. That’s interesting, to say the least.