Congratulations! You've just made the wonderful decision to draft C.J. Beathard! Like most new Beathard owners, you're no doubt filled with questions about your new family member. We here at GIA will try our best to answer any questions you might have.
HELLO SAN FRANCISCO!
WHAT'S SO SPECIAL ABOUT C.J. BEATHARD?
Beathard won a lot of games at Iowa -- he went 21-7 as a starter, highlighted by a 12-2 campaign in 2015. He was a key figure in transforming a moribund Iowa program that had been mired in mediocrity (or worse) for several seasons. Unlike so many contemporary college quarterbacks, Beathard is a true pro-style quarterback. He won't need to learn how to operate pro-style offense or get used to taking snaps from center. He has a powerful NFL arm that can hit deep passes. See?
But he can handle shorter throws too and improved his touch on short throws and screen passes over the last few years. He can also make plays with his feet and he's tough as a mule -- Beathard has played through multiple injuries over the last two seasons and taken quite a pounding. He rarely missed any time for Iowa, though.
Also: he's a hell of a pooch punter -- seriously. And who doesn't love a good pooch punt?
people forget that if you draft C.J. Beathard, you also get the best pooch punter in the league pic.twitter.com/eWeQiZHjNp— Jordan Hansen (@jordyhansen) April 29, 2017
WHAT DID HE DO THAT'S SO GREAT?
Let's be honest -- Beathard's stats aren't going to wow you. (See below.) The best number on his resume is the 21 wins he racked up as a starter. But he has a lot of experience and a lot of tools to succeed at the next level. Beathard also has strong leadership qualities that definitely helped energize the Iowa program when he took over as the starter.
HOW ARE HIS PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES?
Beathard isn't tiny, but he's not huge by NFL standards -- 6'2", 219 lbs. He did pretty well at the Scouting Combine, particularly in the throwing drills (probably the most important asset for a quarterback, right?), and at his Pro Day. The biggest physical concern with Beathard is probably injuries -- he was hit with various maladies over his two years as a starter, most notably some hamstring/groin strains (as well as a sports hernia) that severely limited his mobility (both in and out of the pocket). It's probably fair to wonder if he's just had bad luck or if he's genuinely injury prone.
PRO DAY RESULTS:
Pro Day results for CJ Beathard | #Hawkeyes pic.twitter.com/suD81wsujg— Hawkeye Football (@HawkeyeFootball) March 28, 2017
WHAT ABOUT THE BAD?
Injuries ravaged Iowa's passing game (both to Beathard and to many of his top targets), especially in 2016, and he was trapped in a heavily run-first offense with passing schemes that were often... frustrating, to put it mildly. (Few tears were shed when Greg Davis announced his retirement.) But Beathard has some flaws in his game beyond those external factors, too. While his arm is strong, he has trouble connecting downfield because he often hesitates before throwing. His ability to read a defense is inconsistent and he often got locked onto one side of the field (or to one particular target), which meant that he forced passes at times. He's also struggled to sense pressure in the pocket (and eaten a lot of sacks as a result).
WAS THIS A GOOD PICK?
Do you need him to be a starter right now? If so, then this pick might be an issue because he's not ready to start in the NFL right now. But you're probably not drafting an immediate starter at the end of the third round, either. Beathard has a lot of NFL-ready skills, experience in a (mostly) NFL-friendly system, and NFL bloodlines (his grandfather was Bobby Beathard), so he has a lot going for him. With patience and quality coaching to correct some of his flaws, he should be able to develop into a solid back-up quarterback -- and perhaps even more than that. Enjoy the Bay Area, Mr. Beathard.