Todd McShay likes what he sees from "underrated" C.J. Beathard
Let me clear the record. I’ve been a bit harsh on Todd McShay in recent weeks.
The ESPN NFL draft analyst published a way-too-early 2017 mock a couple weeks after the 2016 draft. Surprisingly, he had Minnesota quarterback Mitch Leidner pegged as a first-round pick. It came off like McShay looked at Leidner’s dimensions and maybe watched tape from the Ohio State or Michigan game and assumed that he was a “Blake Bortles or Carson Wentz” type. With all due respect to McShay, I called up Steve Palazzolo from Pro Football Focus to give me a much more in-depth breakdown than McShay.
In McShay’s defense, he’s in a tough spot cranking out those early mock drafts. He’s gone on record saying that he hates doing it because he doesn’t have time to break down a ton of tape.
So when McShay got more in depth with his film study, he came across Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard. His takeaway was a strong one:
Doing tape on some 2017 QB prospects. Iowa's Beathard is underrated. Live arm, solid decisions, above-avg accuracy, and can extend w/ feet
— Todd McShay (@McShay13) June 7, 2016
It’s a bit ironic that McShay said that Beathard is underrated. He was the one who left the second-team All-B1G quarterback out of his first round. McShay isn’t necessarily saying that Beathard is a future first-round pick, but that he should be on more radars at the next level.
McShay might not have even known that Beathard was dealing with a groin/hip injury for the majority of last season. If he comes back healthy, the same mobility McShay praised him for should look even better.The other three things — a live arm, solid decision-making and above-average accuracy — should also improve in Beathard’s second season as a starter.
What are the chances that we see McShay trade spots with Leidner in his next way-too-early mock draft?