San Francisco

Beathard Showing Why 49ers Took Him in Third Round

Former Iowa quarterback is off to a strong start with San Francisco and could perhaps threaten Barkley's role as primary backup to Hoyer

So far, rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard has been as good as advertised.

The former Iowa standout, taken in the third round of the draft, was a target of new head coach Kyle Shanahan. In fact, according to Peter King of Sports Illustrated’s Monday Morning Quarterback, Beathard was the “only quarterback Shanahan wanted in this draft.”

Now, 49ers fans can see why.

Though Brian Hoyer is firmly set as the team’s No. 1 QB and veteran Matt Barkley is the likely primary backup, Beathard is having a strong training camp and exhibition season and could even challenge Barkley for the No. 2 role going into the regular season.

Beathard has been the team’s best performer at the position, completing 14-of-23 throws for 211 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions and a quarterback rating of 130.6. Barkley is 11-of-19 for 178 yards and an 89.4 QB rating. Hoyer is 9-of-15 for 92 yards with no TD passes and an interception, with a QB rating of 49.9.

Beathard, of course, is playing against second- and third-team defensive players, so the numbers are skewed. Those defenses also aren’t showing him anything complex in practice games.

Beathard had a strong game in his debut against the Chiefs in Week 1 of the exhibition season, helping the Niners to a win, then was in charge of a three-play, 72-yard TD drive to open the second half vs. the Broncos this past weekend. The score came on a 29-yard pass to his former Iowa teammate, tight end George Kittle.

Kittle says the 49ers are seeing a quarterback with a lot of upside.

“He is the most competitive person I’ve ever met in my life,” Kittle told “You’ve got a guy who just cares about football.”

Beathard says he’s just trying to learn, improve and focus on his own responsibilities. He’s not worrying about whether he’ll be the No. 2 or No. 3 QB this season.

“That’s for the coaches to decide on and evaluate,” he said.

Beathard will get his next opportunity Sunday, when the 49ers play the Vikings in Minnesota.

Contact Us