He almost led the Iowa Hawkeyes to their first appearance in the college football playoffs before the Michigan State Spartans delivered the dagger in the final minutes of the 2015 Big Ten Conference Championship Game.
Hawkeyes quarterback, C.J. Beathard was the catalyst behind the team’s successful 2015 campaign. The team would finish the season on a sour note after being embarrassed by star running back Christian McCaffrey and the Stanford Cardinals 45-16 in the 2016 Rose Bowl Game.
If Beathard had forgone his senior season and entered the 2016 NFL Draft, he would have probably been a 5th to 7th round draft pick. The Rose Bowl performance against Stanford put a bad taste in the mouths of NFL scouts that had any intentions of selecting Beathard in the 2016 NFL Draft. According to CBSSports.Com, Beathard is the 2nd overall prospect in the 2017 NFL Draft among the quarterback position.
The 1st is Clemson Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson. Beathard’s draft stock will probably rise or fall based on what type of performance he will have this season. If you paid close attention to the video above, you notice that Beathard can leave the pocket and make explosive plays. In today’s NFL, you need a quarterback that is capable of escaping the punishment of a 285-pound linebacker coming at you on a weekly basis.
In 2015, Beathard threw for 2,809 yards and 17 touchdown passes. Those are not shattering numbers that NFL Scouts want to see when they are looking for potential quarterbacks to select in the 1st round of the NFL Draft. C.J. Beathard must elevate his play to another level if he wants to stay in the conversation of being one of the elite quarterbacks in the 2017 NFL Draft.
From what I have observed from Beathard, I believe he will become a game manager at best once he steps onto the field as an NFL quarterback. The term “game manager” is not a bad label for an NFL quarterback when you understand the real meaning of being a guy who is told to “just don’t mess it up” as the analyst would say.
However, C.J. Beathard can be more than just a “game manager” depending on the type of system he falls into. The 2017 NFL Draft is months away; there will be other quarterbacks whose stock will rise or fall, based on how they will perform this season. There will be teams that will be looking to the draft the second best quarterback in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Deshaun Watson is guaranteed to come off the board as the 1st overall selection. You can expect teams such as the New Orleans Saints and the Denver Broncos to show some interest in the services of C.J. Beathard. Overall, I believe he’s a better prospect coming out of the Big Ten Conference then Connor Cook.
Photo credits by pigskinprospects.com