B.J. Daniels, Scott Tolzien and the 49ers third-string quarterback position

Jason O. Watson

The 49ers have themselves an interesting training camp battle for the third QB spot. Will Scott Tolzien retain the job, or will B.J. Daniels usurp the role?

49ers beat writer Matt Maiocco conducts a weekly Tuesday chat, and recently he had some interesting comments about quarterback B.J. Daniels. The 49ers selected Daniels in the seventh round, with the initial discussion surrounding potential special-teams work. That might not quite be the entire case moving forward:

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He was later asked a follow-up question about Scott Tolzien's chances of making the roster, and he said that Daniels would make it hard for Tolzien to stick around for a third season.

All indications are that Colt McCoy is pretty much locked in as the team's second-string quarterback. That leaves Daniels and Tolzien battling it out for the third-string QB position. Tolzien has maintained the role for two seasons since the 49ers claimed him off waivers at the end of training camp in 2011. However, he now finds himself with an intriguing competition on his hands.

We can't make a significant assessment of the third QB battle before full pads are on and the hitting is happening. Preseason action against third and fourth stringers isn't exactly the best option, but it will give us a better idea of how Daniels' arm strength translates to the NFL.

Daniels does benefit from his potential special-teams work. With Colin Kaepernick and Colt McCoy settled in at first and second string, the third string quarterback is generally not looking at any playing time. However, if the 49ers can develop a special teamer with that role this season, suddenly they may have a reason to keep that third QB active on Sundays. With Scott Tolzien, there is almost no reason to have him active when Kap and McCoy are healthy.

I was going to include a poll about who people thought would claim the third-string QB position, but this sort of leads people to vote a certain way. At this point, if Daniels shows even a modicum of QB talent, is Scott Tolzien likely gone? What does Tolzien need to do to retain that third-string QB role ahead of Daniels?

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