With quarterbacks Tyler Bray and Matt Scott still available in the seventh, the Niners opted to pass on both higher touted prospects, instead going with South Florida QB B.J. Daniels. Jim Harbaugh is among the best in the business when it comes to evaluating quarterbacks, so what did he see in the kid? He saw a quarterback flying well below the radar that he planned to draft before round one even started. B.J. Daniels could become a very capable backup quarterback in the NFL.
Weight: 216 lbs
40 yard dash: 4.63
Bench Reps: 20
Do Your Homework:
- Experience - Daniels played in 47 games at USF.
- Dual Threat - He's a quarterback first, but this guy can boogy. Daniels rushed for 2,060 yards and 25 touchdowns in his college career. Daniels would be able to run the read-option, a big asset to have in a backup for Colin Kaepernick. Daniels' ability to keep plays alive reminds me some of Russell Wilson.
- Vision - Obviously he's mobile, but it's what Daniels does when he's on the move that impresses me. When scrambling or faced with ensuing pressure after the pocket collapses, Daniels is calm and collected. Instead of panicking, he has good awareness and keeps his eyes down field, still looking for the open receiver at all times. This will serve him well in the NFL.
- Throwing on the run - Daniels is highly capable of throwing accurately while off-balance and passing on the run. This is not on just short patterns too; He can wing it down the field with a decent amount of power and accuracy.
- Quick Reads - Everything Daniels does is fast-paced, and going through reads is a big positive. Daniels displays a quick diagnosis of where to attack a defense, and what receiver is open. I believe he will adapt well to NFL game speed.
All First two are correctable):
- Balance - He throws off of his back foot at times, which is a big no-no. In the NFL you have to throw through smaller windows. This will hurt his accuracy if he does not improve upon it.
- Forced throws - I like Daniels' decision making for the most part, but he occasionally will throw into double coverage.
- Height - I am not knocking him for being just 5'11"; You can either play ball or you cannot, and it appears he can. The 49ers didn't hold this against him, but some could consider this a negative.
What They Are Saying:
Coach Harbaugh had this to say about Daniels at his post-draft press conference:
"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."
Dane Brugler of CBS Sports acknowledges Daniels' athleticism and leadership:
"Daniels is a very athletic passer, using his legs to elude pressure and pick up yards on the ground when needed. He is a poised and confident player in the huddle, but has streaky timing as a passer and struggles under pressure when forced to accelerate his delivery."
Matt Barrows points out the value of Daniels:
Jim Harbaugh told B.J. Daniels he'll be able to compete at QB. Athleticism seems to give him excellent practice-squad value as well.— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) April 27, 2013
Check out all of Daniels stats at CFBstats.com
After scouting Daniels, I like the 49ers' decision to draft him in the seventh round. I feel this could have been the plan all along. 49ers linebackers coach, Jim Leavitt, was Daniels head coach at USF his first two seasons, so he probably was the one initially responsible for the Niners looking into him.
The thing I love about the 49ers coaching staff is that everything is about competition; No spot is guaranteed. Colt McCoy appears to be the favorite to be Colin Kaepernick's backup next season, but he won't be handed the job. He will have to earn it. Scott Tolzien and Daniels will be pushing for the backup spot, while also competing against each other to win the third string quarterback gig. Training camp should be a very interesting one this season.
Matt Barrows brought up a great point about the practice squad, stating that Daniels would be a big asset on it. The 49ers face Russell Wilson twice a year, and Daniels could play the Wilson role on the scout team, providing the 49ers' players with a look at what they will see against the Seahawks, to a certain extent. Of course, Daniels doesn't want to be on the practice squad; He wants a spot on the roster before he concedes to a practice squad designation.
Only time will tell what will become of B.J. Daniels, but I like his potential and upside. When you have Jim Harbaugh to groom you and make you better, the sky is the limit. I'll be rooting for him.