NFL

Kyle Shanahan compares rookie QB to Kirk Cousins

Feb 9, 2017; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan during a press conference at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Vincent Frank
Written by Vincent Frank

For the most part, the rookie combo of Mike Shanahan and John Lynch had a successful first draft in the San Francisco 49ers’ war room.

Lynch, in his first season as an NFL GM, orchestrated six trades throughout the three-day event, coming away with two of the top players in the draft as well as a couple valuable 2018 NFL Draft picks.

For his part, it looks like Shanahan got the quarterback he wanted all along. Most people around the football world were shocked when San Francisco traded back into the third round Friday night to select Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard.

The former Hawkeye was seen as a late-round pick to experts around the league. It was surely a reach for the quarterback-needy 49ers.

In assessing the pick, Shanahan seemed to give us an idea as to why the head coach coveted Beathard at such an alarmingly high clip.

“He (Beathard) processes the game so well,” Shanahan said, ,via MMQB’s Pete King. “Tough as s—. Got a chance. He reminds me a lot of Kirk Cousins.”

Shanahan then went on to say that Beathard was the only quarterback he wanted to draft during the three-day event. That’s what we call smoke and mirrors, as the 49ers were linked to Mitch Trubisky and DeShone Kizer throughout the pre-draft process.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that Shanahan is looking for a potential clone of his former quarterback in Washington. The 49ers were linked to Cousins heavily during free agency. At one point, it seemed to be a foregone conclusion that the Pro Bowl quarterback would end up with his former offensive coordinator.

Even now, suggestions are that Cousins will head to the 49ers should he be allowed to test free agency next March (more on that here).

As it relates to Beathard, he fell off the map of the scouting community after a poor senior season that saw him throw 17 touchdowns compared to 10 interceptions.

At 6-foot-2 and 219 pounds, he is a prototypical dropback quarterback. That is surely someone Shanahan covets in his offense. And in reality, the comparison to Cousins might not be too far off.

Remember, the current Redskins quarterback was the eighth player at his position off the board back in 2012. He also didn’t enter the NFL ranks with much fanfare.

About the author

Vincent Frank

Vincent Frank

Editor-at-large, Sportsnaut.

“You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?” Rumi