IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa QB C.J. Beathard is expected to be a mid-to-late round NFL draft pick. He heads into the league following an up-and-down senior season.
A team looking for a quarterback to develop will take a hard look at him as the draft progresses.
C.J. Beathard in 2017 NFL Draft, 49ers
His family is known in both the NFL and country music worlds.
Bobby Beathard, a former NFL general manager, is his grandfather. His dad, Casey Beathard, is a country music songwriter, co-writing six No. 1 songs, including the Kenny Chesney song “The Boys of Fall.”
C.J. makes an appearance about the 1:50 mark into the video. He’s the smallest player, the one jumping around all crazy.
Also, C.J.’s brother, Tucker Beathard, is a rising country music star.
C.J. fits the profile NFL executives like
Years ago, former NFL coach Bill Parcells put together a list of four traits he needed when drafting a quarterback. It serves as a guide for some talent evaluators, even today. Here is the list:
- A senior
- A college graduate
- 3-year starter
- Won at least 23 games in college
Parcells believed a quarterback needed time to develop into a good professional quarterback. A diploma showed the player takes things seriously, and a proven track record cuts down concerns of a fluke season. Winning matters because it showed a player could do more than put up good stats.
Beathard meets nearly every criteria. He checks off the first two. Beathard. started only two seasons, but played eight games as a sophomore while in a quarterback competition with returning starter Jake Rudock. Beathard eventually won, forcing Rudock to transfer to Michigan.
He won 20 games the last two years and played a significant role in Iowa’s seven-win season in 2014.
His draft stock slipped during his senior season.
Beathard broke out as a junior, completing 61.6 percent of his passes for 2,809 yards, 17 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. He earned second-team all-conference honors while leading the Hawkeyes to 12 wins and the Rose Bowl.
He took a step back his senior season. Beathard completed 56.5 percent of his throws for 1,929 yards, 17 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
It wasn’t all necessarily his fault.
The entire Iowa offense faced issues last season. The offensive line struggled in pass protection early in the season. Wide receivers failed to create separation after top target Matt VandeBerg broke his left foot in September. The passing game sputtered as a result with Beathard often handcuffed in his ability to make plays. His pocket presence was an issue, at times, which didn’t help him make plays in a tough situation.
Also, Beathard suffered a sprained left knee during pre-season camp. The injury limited his ability to scramble throughout the season. A hamstring injury suffered in the Outback Bowl, which he re-aggravated at the Senior Bowl, kept him from running at the NFL combine.
NFL teams like Iowa players.
Coach Kirk Ferentz has had 53 players drafted by NFL teams since 2003. Iowa is known as offensive line factory, but NFL teams continually pull talent from Iowa at other positions, including quarterback. None of those signal callers, including Ricky Stanzi and Drew Tate, however, has attempted an NFL pass since 1991.