Throughout the draft, there was a good deal of discussion about the San Francisco 49ers need for another quarterback. We all know Colin Kaepernick is the guy for the foreseeable future, but with Colt McCoy and Scott Tolzien behind him, there was always room for another young QB to bring some competition to the field.
The 49ers ended up addressing that need, although the decision caught many by surprise. The 49ers used a seventh round pick to select University of South Florida quarterback B.J. Daniels. Although Daniels played quarterback at USF, he was also asked to do back-pedal and receiving drills at his Pro Day.
We've gotten some insight about the 49ers plans from Daniels, head coach Jim Harbaugh, and GM Trent Baalke. First, Daniels:
Just spoke with Coach Harbaugh and Coach Roman, they see me playing quarterback and possibly some special teams! Ready to put in work!— B.J. Daniels (@BJDaniels7) April 28, 2013
Jim Harbaugh was asked about Daniels during his post-draft press conference:
What stood out most to you with QB B.J. Daniels? And do you think he's suited to run the diverse offense with offensive coordinator Greg Roman?
"Many things. We can go into what these guys have accomplished. Four-year starter in college at the quarterback position. Before that, four-year starter in football and basketball. All-State in basketball. All-State in football. And you look at the mobility. He's got a real sense when he runs of alluding defenders. Buying time in the pocket, extending plays, very strong arm. And then you wonder with the athleticism, just how many ways could he contribute to this team and this roster. Quarterback position, 217 pounds, 5'11-and-a-half. Can he be a running back? Can he be a wide receiver? Can he be a kick returner? Can he be a punt returner? That idea of being a Swiss army knife kind of comes up again. And we'll see just how many things he can be good at. But, he's a tremendous athlete with great foot quickness, strong arm, two-time captain. I think we're fishing out of a good pool there that he'll be able to contribute to this football team."
Is that an exciting thought to you to potentially have a third quarterback on the roster that you can dress and do a lot of different things, playing special teams and all the things you mentioned?
Does it excite you, that thought?
Will quarterback be his first position? Will he compete at quarterback with QB Scott Tolzien and all the other guys this camp?
"Yes. Bring him in quarterback meetings, quarterback on the practice field, quarterback through rookie mini-camp. Great way to learn the offense through the quarterback's eyes. And then simultaneously he'll be winning on the other level of learning the offense at the running back position and then also the wide receiver position because the quarterback has to know what everybody's doing."
He's just shy of 6 feet. Obviously, you play against a guy twice a year whose shorter than 6 feet. What is your personal stance on height and quarterbacks and what is being over 6 feet a necessity for that position?
"Well, there have been several quarterbacks through the years that have proven that it isn't a necessity."
GM Trent Baalke spoke after Coach Harbaugh and had a few comments of his own:
WR Ted Ginn Jr. is gone via free agency, are any of these guys candidates to take over punt returns?
"Well, I think we've got enough options within our current roster to handle that and certainly going to give anybody that's willing to step back there and handle the duties an opportunity to do so."
Would QB B.J. Daniels be one of those guys that could do it?
"Could be, yes."
Speaking of B.J. Daniels, what stood out in the athleticism and in the tape you saw of him?
"Well, I think [head] coach [Jim Harbugh] was just in here. He probably answered all those questions for you, but just liked his athletic instincts. He's a playmaker, and he won big games on the road. He went into Florida State, into Tallahassee and won a game there. He's won big games throughout his career there. He's a fearless competitor and just has a lot of qualities that we liked, and certainly the coaching staff liked and thought would be nice, young man to work with."
The 49ers will have the next four months to figure out what Daniels brings to the table. As was discussed by many after the pick, given his size and mobility, he could very well provide a Russell Wilson double on the scout team. The increase in mobile quarterbacks would bring some value to that.
Eric Branch had a solid article this morning taking a look at Daniels. He pointed out how if Daniels made the roster, he could very well have the best chance of being active because of his multi-faceted abilities. Of course, that is dependent on making the roster. I would be quite surprised at this point, as he seems like a very logical candidate for the practice squad. But you never know what Harbaugh might decide. Scott Tolzien has stuck around for two years now, but that does not necessarily mean he is assured of anything heading into the summer. The backup QB battle will be rather interesting.