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Former Iowa QB C.J. Beathard is getting some VERY lofty comparisons.

Why Kirk Cousins, not Joe Montana, is better comparison for Iowa’s C.J. Beathard; Desmond King & George Kittle are draft gems, and more

The best way to start your day is right here at as we prepare you for everything you need to know about Iowa sports. We’ll share our Iowa Breakfast Club here with you at 8:30 a.m. (ET) Monday through Friday.

So let’s get to it. Here is the Iowa Breakfast Club for Tuesday, May 2.

The C.J. Beathard comparison game

Joe Montana, C.J. Beathard. C.J. Beathard, Joe Montana.

Yes, their names were said in the same sentence. It’s pretty heady stuff to see the former Iowa quarterback compared to arguably the best quarterback in NFL history. But MMQB’s Peter King managed to do it in his behind-the-scenes story on the 49ers draft published Monday.

“Oh my God,” Beathard told King. “That is crazy. Wow. Joe Montana. Wow.”

The Montana comparison creates headlines, but it’s not the one that should make Iowa fans, or Beathard, excited.

Tucked away in the piece is San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan comparing Beathard to Kirk Cousins. He is a better comp for Beathard because Cousins provides the better template to Beathard’s path to a long-term NFL future.

“He processes the game so well,” Shanahan told King of Beathard. “Tough as s—. Got a chance. He reminds me a lot of Kirk Cousins.”

Cousins was a fourth-round pick by Washington in 2012, working his way into the full-time starting role by 2015. He needed time to develop but earned a Pro Bowl berth last season. The early part of Cousin’s career is a realistic best-shot scenario for any mid-round quarterback.

Exiting college, both Cousins and Beathard were labeled smart, multi-year starting quarterbacks with intangibles and leadership skills NFL teams covet. The consensus on both was a potential career backup.

Shanahan was the Washington offensive coordinator when the team selected Cousins. From Shanahan, a comparison to Cousins is a compliment. Remember, Washington selected Cousins after already taking Robert Griffin III in the first round in that same 2012 draft.

King brought up Montana because the 49ers drafted the Hall of Famer in the third round in 1979 — the first year of the Bill Walsh era. San Francisco drafted Beathard in the third round in the first draft for new general manager John Lynch and Shanahan.

The Montana stuff is nice, but the Montana story doesn’t happen often. It’s likely more coincidence than anything. It’s also as much luck as anything when a mid- or late-round quarterback becomes a legend. Tom Brady did it. So did Montana. Russell Wilson and Dak Prescott could join them. Time will tell.

But if teams truly believed any quarterback, even Montana, would turn into a Hall of Famer, the signal-caller wouldn’t make it out of the first round.

Montana grabbed Beathard’s attention, but the NFL rookie will want to get Cousin’s cell number from Shanahan and pick his brain if he’s to become the pro San Francisco hopes he will be.

More Iowa draft love

Beathard wasn’t the only former Hawkeye to receive praise coming out of the draft. Pro Football Focus placed DB Desmond King and TE George Kittle on its list of 10 mid-round draft gems.

King, a projected second- or third-round pick, slid to the fifth round to the Los Angeles Chargers. PFF believes King is a steal because of his production, zone-coverage grades and sure tackling. King was the website’s No. 1 gem.

Kittle, taken in the fifth round by San Francisco, made the list because of his blocking ability, versatility and ability to potentially play fullback for the 49ers.

Moving on to the 2018 draft

No Iowa players were included in the 2018 first-round mock draft of Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, but Hawkeyes fans needs to look at the second player selected.

Wyoming QB Josh Allen.

Consider this your weekly reminder one of the top quarterbacks in the country is opening the season at Kinnick Stadium. He threw for 3,203 yards, 28 touchdowns and 15 interceptions last season.

Iowa hosts Wyoming on Sept. 2.

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