There has been a bit of debate over the San Francisco 49ers decision to move up in the draft to select QB C.J. Beathard from Iowa in the third round. The quarterback met with the media during rookie minicamp and talked about the toughness that head coach Kyle Shanahan has spoken so much about.
I think it’s something you’re born with really. I grew up in a family with two brothers, two sisters, so a big family. Me and my brothers were always playing in the back yard, playing tackle football.
Beathard boasts that as the oldest, he hit the hardest, even breaking his younger brother’s collar bone at one point.
Beathard’s grandfather is former San Diego GM Bobby Beathard which meant growing up watching hard hitting Chargers Junior Seau and Rodney Harrison as a youngster. The younger Beathard always admired the toughness of those players and even played some defense at strong safety through his sophomore year in high school before focusing on developing as a quarterback.
Former roommate and teammate TE George Kittle described his quarterback’s tenacity:
He’s a guy that wouldn’t come off the field unless they dragged him off the field, no matter what injury it was, or what he was ailing through. If you saw the highlight against Indiana, he jumped over like six guys and pretty sure he had a sports hernia. He doesn't care about his body, he wants to win and he wants to do well for his team, so he’ll do anything.
After a 2015 season where Beathard completed 61.6 percent of his passes for 2,809 yards his production dipped in 2016, completing 56.5 percent of his passes for 1,292 yards. Kittle expressed his feeling that statistics don’t really exemplify Beathard’s ability.
He basically willed us to 20 wins in two years so that’s pretty impressive. He put the team on his back multiple times in games we might not have been playing well, but he’s a guy that when he steps on the field, he steps on the field to win. I don't think stats and numbers really matter because he’s just a guy who is going to get the job done.
Beathard did confirm the sports hernia injury that happened in the second game of 2015 which he had surgically repaired after the season concluded. He didn’t mention playing through pain but expressed that it was frustrating, not being able to run and get out fast as he knew he could if he needed to. In 2016 he pulled his hamstring in the Outback bowl and the injury lingered through the combine but he is 100% now and ready to go.