No. 5: Quarterback C.J. Beathard
While it’s fun to crown Nick Mullens as the 49ers’ starter for the rest of the season, it’s a very real possibility C.J. Beathard winds up taking his job back at some point between now and Week 17.
San Francisco 49ers
If he does, it’s pretty obvious Beathard will have to make some serious improvements over what we’ve seen from his five starts in 2018. Over that stretch, the second-year pro has been responsible for seven interceptions, five fumbles and 18 sacks — many of which were a direct result of him being indecisive and holding onto the ball too long.
On top of that, Beathard’s 60.4 completion percentage ranks 29th among all qualifiers, just above the Jacksonville Jaguars’ Blake Bortles, and Beathard’s 81.8 passer rating ranks 27th — also just above Bortles.
At least San Francisco doesn’t have Bortles on the roster.
Regardless how many starts the Niners’ Round 3 pick from the 2017 NFL Draft gets between now and the end of the season, he’ll have to showcase a significant improvement in both pocket awareness and willingness to get the ball out quickly — traits with which Beathard has struggled since his college days and, at least in the delivering, something Mullens showcased well.
Should it not happen, Beathard may wind up being little more than what we’re seeing now — a modest backup quarterback with almost zero ability to put an offense on his shoulders.