Just when everyone thought the 49ers had packed things up for the night, they decided to make one more move.
Consistent with what has become a theme of their 2017 draft, San Francisco traded up late in the third round, this time to select the first offensive player of the 2017 draft.
C.J. Beathard from the University of Iowa would be the selection, adding a third quarterback to the 49ers depth charts.
The 21-year-old Hawkeye was not projected as third- or even fourth-round talent heading into the draft, but first-year general manager John Lynch said the 49ers made the call to accept a trade offer from the Minnesota Vikings:
“(Minnesota was) looking to back out and offered and opportunity. … This was an instance where we saw a player that, as I said, we grew to like throughout the process. And he had qualities that we thought would be great to work with for everything has a cost.”
What exactly was the cost? A fourth round pick (No. 109) — only five spots below the No. 103 pick the 49ers moved up to — and a seventh-rounder (No. 219) acquired from the Browns via a trade two seasons ago.
The 49ers seemed to add Beathard as a player to develop over the next few seasons, though head coach Kyle Shanahan said he didn’t want to label him as a project:
“I don’t know if I would use those words.”
“We’re very confident with the guy we have right now going to get Brian (Hoyer) and we’re very excited about having Matt Barkley … But, you know, when you go in and you have some guys you’re that you’re excited with at the one and two spot, and then you draft a guy who’s coming penciled as the three. So people call that a project, that means you’re going to work with someone.”
In four seasons at Iowa, Beathard played in 41 games, 28 as a starter. In those 41 games, he completed 58 percent of his passes and threw 41 touchdowns to 19 interceptions.
Beathard finished his career at Iowa with 5,562 total passing yards, the sixth-most in school history.
During a media conference call, Beathard expressed his desire to continue that success on the field and make an impact on the organization:
“I want to be a part of this program. I want to be a part of making the 49ers a great team. And that’s my philosophy right now going in, to do the best that I can do to help this team be successful right away.”