Before the start of the 2016 season, Todd McShay was high on Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard.

The ESPN NFL draft analyst broke down some film of the senior signal-caller and went so far as to call him “underrated” back in June. After seeing Beathard’s production slip a little in 2016 — not all of that was on him — McShay is still a believer.

McShay doesn’t believe Beathard will be selected in the first couple rounds. In fact, he projects him as a likely Day-3 pick.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean he lacks potential. Beathard could be a “mid-to-late-round gem” of the 2017 NFL draft, according to McShay.

Here’s what McShay wrote about Beathard’s draft stock ahead of the Senior Bowl:

Beathard has elite toughness and leadership along with a strong arm and sneaky mobility. But he was difficult to evaluate at times because his offensive line was marginal in pass protection, and his injury-riddled receiving corps did him no favors. He could wind up being the mid-to-late-round gem from this class. He will likely land in a low-pressure situation with the time to sit back, learn and develop.

Beathard, who earned second-team All-B1G honors in 2015, will be the conference’s lone quarterback in the Senior Bowl.

McShay wrote that he wants to see Beathard’s decision-making process speed up with quality talent around him. He also wants to see if Beathard can correct some of the bad footwork habits he developed as a result of Iowa’s lack of receivers who could create space.

Beathard could likely wind up being the highest B1G quarterback selected in the draft, especially if he can deliver on those questionable areas in Alabama.