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How long will C.J. Beathard be Jimmy Garoppolo’s backup?

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The 49ers have their quarterback of the future. What about the backup?

The San Francisco 49ers have all but wrapped up free agency as April gets started. I suspect we see the team sign a couple more veterans prior to training camp, but the next step for the roster is the 2018 NFL Draft. The 49ers have nine draft picks, and plenty of bucks to spend on undrafted free agents, so late April is going to be busy.

One position the team did a lot of work without adding a single player is quarterback. The team signed Jimmy Garoppolo to a five year contract extension as it appears they have their quarterback of the future.

Heading into April, the 49ers quarterback depth chart includes Garoppolo, now second year quarterback C.J. Beathard, and last year’s UDFA addition, Nick Mullens. The 49ers traded into the back end of the third round last year to select Beathard. He beat out Matt Barkley for the backup job, and then supplanted Brian Hoyer in Week 6. Beathard started five games before Garoppolo took over.

The 49ers could walk into the 2018 season with the current QB depth chart, and nobody would bat an eye. That being said, the 49ers will be adding more bodies for at least one reason. They need at least one more quarterback to take reps in the offseason workout program, training camp, and the preseason. They will likely add a UDFA quarterback, could either spend a late day three pick on the position, or could sign a veteran that is still on the market.

Aside from the need for bodies, I find myself wondering if the team will be aggressive in finding competition at the position. They could grab two obvious cuts and be done with it, or they could decide they want to push Beathard even harder. What about adding someone to push Beathard, and then the team is in a position to trade Beathard later this fall?

We’ll get a fairly clear answer when the 2018 NFL Draft arrives. If the 49ers do not spend a pick on the position, it will be pretty clear what the plan is. But if they do spend a draft pick, maybe it gets a little more interesting. They won’t be drafting the names at the top, like Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, or Baker Mayfield. But what about a Kyle Lauletta, or somebody else a little further down the ranking?

I think my big question for now is, will C.J. Beathard be the 49ers primary backup quarterback when the 2019 regular season arrives? Odds are pretty good he is in that position this September, but what about a year later?


Will C.J. Beathard be the 49ers primary backup quarterback Week 1 of the 2019 season?

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