In Chicago, $15 million-per-year starter Mike Glennon instantly was undermined on Thursday night via the selection of Mitchell Trubisky. In San Francisco, $6 million-in-2017 starter Brian Hoyer had his status cemented via the team’s decision not to pick a quarterback in round one or in round two.
In round three, the 49ers took Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard. Does that mean Beathard could challenge Hoyer for the starting job?
“I don’t look at it at all like that,” coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters on Friday. “We’re bringing him in here to develop him, give him a chance. But, just like any other position, everyone competes. Brian’s our starting quarterback and right now, Matt Barkley’s our second and I look at [Beathard] to come in and be our third with us only having three on the roster. But, every single day of practice, whether it’s an OTA, whether it’s workouts, whatever it is, people are always competing and we’ll always play the best guy, but by no means did we come into this draft thinking, ‘Hey, we’re going to get a guy to compete with Brian.’ We’re just trying to add people to our roster to improve the overall talent of our team.”
Unless Beathard develops quickly, the decision not to use a higher pick on a quarterback this year could mean that the 49ers are indeed a year away from making a run at Kirk Cousins. But consider this: Cousins was a fourth-round pick. Beathard arrives via round three, and the 49ers felt compelled to move from 109 to 104 to get him. So the 49ers see something in this guy, and this contract will be much more affordable over the next four years that what it would cost to pay Cousins.
Beathard wasn’t highly regarded by the draft experts but he became the sixth quarterback taken, exiting the board before the likes of Nathan Peterman, Josh Dobbs, and Brad Kaaya. Shanahan presumably believes Beathard can run Shanahan’s offense the way Shanahan envisions it being run. And if Beathard can do that, maybe they won’t need Cousins or Hoyer in 2018. And maybe by 2019 Beathard will be another one of those mid-round quarterbacks who arrive in the NFL with limited fanfare but who become one of the better ones in the league.