Shanahan: C.J. Beathard reminds me of Kirk Cousins

John Lynch exited his first draft as the Pied Piper of the media throng, who almost unanimously love the moves the first-time GM made over the weekend.

From getting the Chicago Bears to pay to move up one spot to take a player the 49ers didn't want, to snagging Reuben Foster late on Day 1, to adding depth and talent to both sides of the ball, Lynch had a pretty good weekend upgrading one of the worst rosters in the NFL.

The one selection that made #DraftTwitter cringe was trading up at the end of the third round to take Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard.

Buried in a fantastic behind-the-scenes piece from The MMQB's Peter King from the 49ers draft room, we learn that Beathard is the "only quarterback (coach Kyle) Shanahan wanted in this draft."

"He processes the game so well," Shanahan said. "Tough as s---. Got a chance. He reminds me a lot of Kirk Cousins."

That's high praise for a milquetoast quarterback most scouts believe to be a career NFL backup -- the Brian Hoyer of the 2017 NFL draft landing on a team with Brian Hoyer as its starting quarterback.

Given his relationship with Cousins and the rumors that the 49ers eventually want to poach the Washington Redskins quarterback, Shanahan couldn't have made the comparison lightly. There are similarities in Cousins and Beathard's game. They are a similar size, both won in the Big Ten, both are considered extremely smart signal-callers. Beathard, however, didn't have nearly the depth of success Cousins had in college, and wasn't as accurate a thrower. At Iowa, Beathard completed 58.1 percent of passes at a 7.1 yards per attempt average, while Cousins earned 64.1 completion rate on 8.1 yards per attempt.

Beyond the Cousins comparison, it's interesting to hear that the grandson of Super Bowl-winning general manager Bobby Beathard was the only quarterback Shanahan targeted. Either it could be viewed an high praise for Beathard, or an indictment of the other quarterbacks taken in the early rounds. Only time will tell.

Whether Beathard becomes the next Kirk Cousins or not, when your new coach eyes a quarterback late on Day 2, paying a seventh-round choice to leap up five spots was a small price for Lynch to pay.

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