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Lindley: Mentally, C.J. Beathard already ahead of most rookie quarterbacks

Is it officially time to get excited now that Kyle Shanahan said C.J. Beathard reminds him of a young Kirk Cousins?

Ryan Lindley is a former NFL quarterback turned coach, who privately tutored Beathard and Mitchell Trubisky during the draft process. Lindley joined KNBR 1050’s The Audible morning to give some insights on a player he knows pretty well.

“The biggest thing people undervalue with C.J. is he’s a guy that is somewhat NFL ready from a mental standpoint,” Lindley said. “The offense he ran at Iowa was very similar to what a lot of teams run in the NFL. He’s huddling, making MIKE calls, making MIKE points, his football IQ is off the charts. That’s one thing that I think people in the evaluation process you just look at what you see on film, which really gives you one dimension of a player. People sit down with him and see what kind of a football player he is. I’ll tell you, C.J. is a football junkie and he’s going to bring a lot to the table for the 49ers.

“There are guys that are physically more talented than him. Mentally, and just his persona, he’s going to fit right into a quarterback room. Moving away from football, just talking about his personality, he’s an easy-going guy. He’s going to fit in wherever he goes. I happen to know Brian (Hoyer), was with him a little in Arizona and I know Matt (Barkley) a little bit. I think he’s going to fit in right with those guys. He’s got to find a way to find his niche in the quarterback room.”

So what about Cousins/Beathard comparison? Can the Iowa quarterback one day be known as one of the steals of the draft? Shanahan has said Beathard will clearly be the No. 3 quarterback once training camp begins. But who knows, if he does outplay Barkley, he could move up the depth chart.

“I think so. I think a lot of what you see in what Kirk did coming out, it’s similar,” Lindley said. “I think Kirk might’ve had a little more success, but to be honest with you and not to throw anyone under the bus, C.J. wasn’t working with the guys in college that Kirk was. C.J. made a lot happen with not a ton of talent. I think that’s also overlooked. It helps to have good guys around you regardless of where you are.”


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