Quarterback B.J. Daniels played well for the 49ers in preseason games last summer. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
With the 49ers concentrating on upgrading their roster this offseason in order to wrest the NFC West crown away from the Seahawks in 2014, it now seems possible that San Francisco might regret a move it made during the 2013 season.
The 49ers seem to be in the market for an upgrade at their No. 2 quarterback position, and the quarterback that fits their bill might be B.J. Daniels.
Daniels, a seventh-round pick of the 49ers in 2013, is now on the roster of the Seahawks, backing up starter Russell Wilson. And the Seahawks love him. In fact, this week Seahawks GM John Schneider said Daniels reminds him of Wilson, the overlooked and undersized quarterback from Wisconsin who’s turned into an NFL star his first two seasons.
Like Wilson, Daniels, too was considered small (5-foot-11) coming out of college at South Florida, but like Wilson he has a strong arm and an ability to make plays with his feet.
“He’s got an ability to find passing lanes,” Schneider told Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. “He’s got a very good eye. These guys that are undersized, they’ve got to be able to move. So that stands out right away. Yeah, absolutely. Similar traits.”
With San Francisco in three preseason games last year, Daniels looked terrific. He was 13-of-21 for 178 yards and three touchdowns, while also rushing for 87 yards on 12 carries. He played well in the read option and also as a pocket passer.
The 49ers kept Daniels on their roster as a third quarterback, but in October they waived him to make room for veteran John Skelton. That’s when Seattle swooped in to claim him off waivers.
Niners head coach Jim Harbaugh said at the time the 49ers had hoped to re-sign Daniels to their practice squad, but Seattle jumped in to claim him.
Meanwhile, the 49ers got rid of Skelton soon after and brought in McLeod Bethel-Thompson, a former Sacramento State standout. Now, the 49ers’ No. 2 QB in 2013, Colt McCoy, is a free agent, and it seems as if Daniels would have been the perfect player to slip into McCoy’s role.
At the time the Seahawks claimed Daniels, Harbaugh noted it had been a gamble to put him on waivers. Harbaugh had spoken glowingly of Daniels’ performance in practice and the preseason, and it seemed as if he had a future in the organization.
“We would have liked to have had B.J. on the practice squad, and we don’t,” Harbaugh told the Bay Area media. “So, rolled the dice there and now we don’t have him.”
It could prove to be a gamble the 49ers regret.