The San Francisco 49ers surprised pretty much everybody on Friday when they decided to pick Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard. Ian Rapoport had said ten days ago that Beathard was likely going earlier than expected, but virtually every projection had him later in day three, if at all. Suffice to say, we as 49ers fans were scratching our heads.
I generally do not like the idea of sticking our head in the sand and just blindly supporting the head coach or front office. Healthy debate is critical. Maybe more so to a healthy democracy, but it’s also healthy to supporting a team. I don’t think it makes a person a better fan if they never criticize what the team does. The “fan so hard” types don’t get to claim better fandom because they love everything the team does regardless of reality.
That being said, I am inclined to give Kyle Shanahan the benefit of the doubt for the time being. I don’t know nearly enough about C.J. Beathard to say he will be a good or bad quarterback. Scouting reports are not ideal, but I think it is safe to believe that Shanahan has watched a lot of film on Beathard.
Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch were brought in to rebuild an organization that was at rock bottom. Shanahan will have say over all three phases of the ball, but he was specifically hired because of his offensive acumen. He has done great things with a variety of quarterbacks who possess a variety of skillsets. It doesn’t mean that C.J. Beathard is going to become the next Matt Ryan, or Kirk Cousins, or heck, even the next Brian Hoyer. But Shanahan has a track record of offensive success across a spectrum of personnel.
Shanahan went into detail on Friday evening about why the team drafted Beathard. Plenty of people are already writing it off and are pissed about the pick. I think it is reasonable to wonder about the pick, but I also think it is reasonable to step back and say, OK, I think Kyle Shanahan knows what he is doing, and I’m willing to give this a little time. If it turns out to be a busted pick, it is no entirely an indictment of what the 49ers are doing, but it is certainly not a good result. But for the time being, new head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have control of things, and I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, and do a little more learning about the 49ers new quarterback.
Everyone is more than welcome to disagree, but if you are optimistic about what Kyle Shanahan can bring to the 49ers, I think it is reasonable to give this one at least a little time. I sometimes laugh at the phrase “Trust the process,” but for the time being I think it is at least a little bit applicable. How long the benefit of the doubt lasts is another question entirely!