3 reasons why C.J. Beathard wins 49ers’ backup quarterback job over Nick Mullens

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CARSON, CA – SEPTEMBER 30: Quarterback C.J. Beathard #3 of the San Francisco 49ers walks around the field after the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at StubHub Center on September 30, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Almost all the evidence suggests Nick Mullens will win the San Francisco 49ers’ No. 2 quarterback job over C.J. Beathard in 2019. But if it’s the other way around, here are three reasons why.

If you were going to make a bet on who the San Francisco 49ers‘ backup quarterback to Jimmy Garoppolo would be in 2019, you’d be foolish not to pencil in Nick Mullens.

After all, Mullens looked far more effective under center last year than his counterpart, C.J. Beathard, who was benched with a minor injury in Week 9 and never saw the field for a meaningful snap the rest of 2018.

The numbers are almost entirely in favor of Mullens, too. And as our friend over at KNBR 680, Al Sacco, pointed out, there is almost no statistical way head coach Kyle Shanahan can go with Beathard over Mullens in this critical training camp battle between the two entering this season.

Looking at those numbers, it’s not hard to understand why Sacco and many others have come to that conclusion.

C.J. Beathard Passing Table
YearAgeTmPosGGSQBrecCmpAttCmp%YdsTDIntY/AY/CY/GRateSk
201724SFOqb751-4-012322454.91430466.411.6204.369.219
201825SFOqb650-5-010216960.41252877.412.3208.781.818
CareCare13101-9-022539357.3268212136.811.9206.374.637
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/9/2019.
Nick Mullens Passing Table
YearAgeTmPosGGSQBrecCmpAttCmp%YdsTDIntLngY/AY/CY/GRateSk
201823SFOQB883-5-017627464.222771310858.312.9284.690.817
CareCare883-5-017627464.222771310858.312.9284.690.817
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/9/2019.

 

Beathard has two more starts than Mullens and far worse stats over that time frame.

So, by all the evidence, Mullens should win. And it’s why Niner Noise pointed out three reasons why this happens in 2019.

But let’s take the contrarian take here for a moment and suggest why Beathard, not Mullens, winds up winning the No. 2 job behind Garoppolo.

Granted, this isn’t a prediction piece, per se. But if Shanahan elects to make Beathard the immediate backup for Garoppolo, leaving an uncertain future for Mullens, one or more of these three reasons will be why.

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