Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports



ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay listed the selection of Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard by the San Francisco 49ers as one of the biggest surprises during Day 2 of the 2017 NFL Draft. After all, the 49ers traded back up into the end of the third round to select the signal caller, who was rated below other available quarterbacks and expected to go later in the draft.

"Entering the season, I gave Beathard a mid-third-round grade," McShay explained. "I loved his leadership and toughness. He was a tough evaluation this season, as his pass-protection fell apart and he lost key WRs to injuries. We ended up giving a fringe fourth/fifth-round grade and ranked him No. 156 overall. While I'm surprised the 49ers traded back into the third round to select Beathard with higher-ranked options like Joshua Dobbs and Nathan Peterman still on the board, I do understand why they'd be intrigued by his 2015 tape."

McShay's colleague, Mel Kiper, ranked Beathard as the 243rd-best player available while Pro Football Focus ranked him as the 10th-best quarterback available.

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan was asked why he feels like Beathard is a good fit for his offensive system. "Well, one thing that helps is being able to see guys play the way you're going to ask them to play," he answered. "I think that helps with being at Iowa, having watched the system that he's in. it's easier to see. And, to watch him over the years, he's a three-year starter. He's led his team to a bunch of wins, especially in 2015 where they had a better team. I think he played unbelievable.

"They struggled a little bit more this year. I don't think he had as good of players around him. But, he's a leader, he's tough, processes very well, extremely accurate and I think he lives and dies football."