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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

At the Combine: 49ers GM John Lynch wants C.J. Beathard to become the next Jimmy Garoppolo

Mar 1, 2018 at 8:01 AM--

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San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch stepped up to the podium at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Thursday morning and discussed his new franchise quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, at length. However, another starter from the 2017 season also came up -- C.J. Beathard.

Beathard, a rookie who was drafted in the third round out of Iowa, appeared in six games and started five for the 49ers last season. During that time, he completed 54.9 percent of his passes for 1,430 yards, four touchdowns, six interceptions, and a passer rating of 69.2.

Beathard's days as a starter became numbered when the 49ers finalized a trade with the New England Patriots for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Garoppolo became the team's full-time starter during Week 13 and went on to win each of the team's final five games. The 49ers' newest quarterback signed a five-year, $137.5 million contract in February.

Garoppolo's emergence doesn't mean the 49ers have forgotten about Beathard. Lynch discussed the second-year quarterback at the combine.

"We think very highly of C.J.," Lynch said. "I can tell you one of the reasons that it was -- I won't say easy -- but easier for us to be patient while Kyle was making those decisions with Jimmy was that C.J. was playing well in our mind and was improving every week. C.J. has handled this tremendously well with a tremendous amount of class. It's motivated him to become even better, to continue working on his craft.

"We love his makeup, what he's all about. My message to him: Become the next Jimmy Garoppolo. You keep playing well; good things will happen for you. He understands that."

Beathard grew up around football. He is the grandson of former NFL executive Bobby Beathard, who will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August.

"I think that background has prepared him for, yeah, there's going to be some adversity. When it looked like things were going so well, that could have been hard for a young man to take. He responded in the fashion that we thought he would, and I think there's exciting times ahead for C.J. Beathard."


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