49ers 2019 training camp primer: Backup quarterbacks a big story

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse

CARSON, CA – SEPTEMBER 30: Quarterback C.J. Beathard #3 of the San Francisco 49ers warms up ahead of the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at StubHub Center on September 30, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

The San Francisco 49ers kick off training camp this week, and the backup quarterback situation between Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard is one of the more noteworthy storylines heading into 2019.

You don’t want to be on the losing end of the San Francisco 49ers‘ training camp battle for backup quarterback.

Or maybe you do. It all depends on a lot of unforeseen factors.

The bout to act as the No. 1 reserve to Jimmy Garoppolo will fall between C.J. Beathard, the team’s third-round NFL Draft pick in 2017, and Nick Mullens, who took over starting duties for Beathard in the latter half of 2018.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan has made it clear both backup quarterbacks will have an equal shot to secure the No. 2 job behind Garoppolo during training camp.

The loser, of course, faces an uncertain fate. And it might not go the exact route one might think.

Beathard, whose 57.3 completion percentage the last two years put him at the bottom of qualifying QBs in that time frame, seems to be en route to being the odd man out. Especially if Shanahan keeps just two signal-callers on his 53-man roster.

Nearly every regular-season stat, meanwhile, goes in Mullens’ favor. And Niner Noise already broke down reasons why Mullens, not Beathard, wins this bout heading into 2019.

Yet it’s not as “cut and dry” a situation as one might think.

Mullens did have his share of struggles during organized team activities, and there’s an argument to be made Beathard performs better during practices. Plus, being a third-round draftee, the Niners have far more invested in Beathard than his counterpart.

How does that factor into training camp? Let’s take a look.

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse