With the 31st pick in the seventh round (237th overall), the 49ers drafted QB B.J. Daniels from South Florida. In college, Daniels was recruited by 49ers LB coach Jim Leavitt and played under him during his freshman season in 2009.
The 6-0, 217 pound QB has the athletic ability to play multiple positions if the 49ers want him to. Head coach Jim Harbaugh liked his size and frame for the offense.
“[Daniels is very mobile],” said Harbaugh. “He’s got a real sense when he runs of alluding defenders. He is good at 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. 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 and a 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.”
During the rookie mini camp, Daniels got looks at running back, punt returner and kickoff returner besides his natural quarterback position. Harbaugh said he expects Daniels to learn the playbook for a quarterback but will simultaneously learn other parts of the offense for different positions.
A four-year starting QB at South Florida, he had a very productive career with 10,501 total offensive yards including 526 rushing attempts for 2,068 yards. Daniels is very familiar with the read-option offense and has the ability of a dual-threat quarterback. He set a Big East record for rushing touchdowns with 25.
General manager Trent Baalke said he likes the competitiveness of Daniels, citing his history of coming in big games with composure. During his freshman year in 2009, Daniels stepped in when the starting quarterback was knocked out at Florida State. He defeated the Seminoles with 215 passing yards and two touchdown passes in his first college game.
This season, Daniels will compete for playing time at kick returns and punt returns. He will also compete for playing time as an RB or WR in the future. Daniels could also impress the staff when he competes with Scott Tolzien and Colt McCoy for the backup QB spot.
Daniels said he will compete and had a chip on his shoulder being an underdog against all odds. He showed good awareness during the second day of rookie mini camp.
“I’m a competitor and I like to prove people wrong and do what I have to do to be successful,” said Daniels.