The NFL Draft is looming, each hour brings football fans closer to either great celebration of a quality draft, or moans of failure and disgust at missed opprutunities. Not all rounds of the NFL Draft are created equal, yet that does that mean that each round is not important. What seperates the teams with sustained success from the teams that have failed countless times in the past is how they draft in the later rounds, and how they develop them.
Players drafted in the first three rounds are expected to come in and be impact players for most teams, fourth and fifth rounders mostly are seen as organizational depth, or as players that are missing components of their game, or some combination of the two. The sixth round of the NFL Draft will be watched by the most hardcore of fans, judging and analyzing each and every pick for their team, and seeing how that player could become useful. The Giants own the 207th pick in this years NFL Draft, and with that pick, I see them selecting Quarterback C.J. Beathard from Iowa.
Giants fans, we have to accept the reality that Eli Manning is going to retire one day. He has had a Hall of Fame career, leading the Giants to two Super Bowls, and has been one of the most durable players to have ever step onto the gridiron. Selecting a quarterback in the 6th round gives the Giants plenty of time and opportunities to develop a potential starter down the line, which is what I suspect C.J. Beathard can be.
Beathard played in a pro-style offense during his career at Iowa, he has shown the ability to take snaps from under center well-enough. He has also shown the ability to throw the ball out of the pocket, as proven by his 57% competition percentage while at Iowa. Has a decent build of 6’2, 219 lb, and displayed an NFL caliber arm, throwing the deep ball confidently. What I like the most about C.J. Beathard is his confidence, both on and off the field. Beathard has been quoted as saying ““I’m trying to prove that I’m the best quarterback in this draft and all it takes is one team to give me a chance and that’s all I need is an opportunity and I know I’ll turn some heads with what I do. I’m confident in that.” This is exactly what I want to hear from a quarterback that is being overlooked, that killer instinct, that desire to be better then his peers.
Now, there are several reasons why he is considered a 6th round pick, and they are quite notable issues that need to be fixed at the next level. He has displayed a good amount of hesitation of his throws, especially down the sidelines. He does not have great pocket presence, and may get himself sacked more then he should as a result of this. While he does have the confidence to throw the deep ball, he has not shown the accuracy needed to continue this at the next level, completing under 30 percent of passes beyond twenty yards over the past two seasons.
I see C.J. Beathard as a poor mans Alex Smith. I believe he will eventually be seen as a capable backup, who can come into games and lead an offense, with only a small drop-off from a teams’ primary starter. For now, he is a late round pick, who has notable flaws in his game, but I would not be shocked if he had a decently long career ahead of him as a spot-starter/very capable backup in the NFL.