The San Francisco 49ers new general manager and head coach are doing a pretty solid job of remaining on-message, and on the same message. The biggest question mark through thus far has probably been the decision to draft quarterback C.J. Beathard. There is talk some teams might have considered him early on day three, but whatever the case, the 49ers pulled the trigger at the end of day two.
Since then, Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch have remained on message. Shanahan talked about Beathard’s toughness, accuracy, and working in a pro style offense as big reasons he liked the quarterback. And of course, there was the Kirk Cousins comparison.
John Lynch recently made an appearance on the Talk of Fame Network with Clark Judge. That comparison was brought up, and that led to Lynch offering up some discussion of comparable traits between Beathard and Cousins.
“Some of those (traits) were his toughness. That stands out on film. He repeatedly stands in there when he knows he’s going to get hit and can deliver accurate footballs. Kyle talks a lot with quarterbacks about guys that don’t need a lot of space. They don’t need to hit you two times and have that space to generate good torque, and C.J. has that as well. We feel like he’s very accurate.
“And then the thing I think that reminded (us) … that trait that did give him some hope that he could be like Kirk … was the process. He processes information very quickly. So, when you threw all that together, the more we watched him … (and) we knew we were going to stay away from quarterbacks earlier in the draft; we had too many needs … C.J. became that guy that we really appreciated.”
Beathard’s completion percentage took a hit in 2016, but there are some factors in play. Shanahan has talked about the decline in talent around him, but Pro Football Focus offered up an intriguing statistic.
New 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard was more adversely affected by factors outside his control than any QB in the 2017 #NFLDraft. pic.twitter.com/mcDsL1L7BP— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) May 1, 2017
According to them, Beathard had the biggest difference between his adjusted completion percentage and his traditional completion percentage. The adjusted number removes throw-aways, wide receiver drops, spikes, batted passes, and hit-as-thrown attempts. There is a certain amount of subjectivity when it comes to some of those categories, but it offers some insight into Beathard’s apparent accuracy issues last season.
The 49ers have made it clear Beathard is going to be a developmental prospect in year one, serving as the team’s No. 3 quarterback. More than likely that means he will be inactive all 16 games, with Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley handling the workload. Injuries could change that plan, but even then, we might see the 49ers more likely to add another veteran rather than send Beathard out there as a rookie.