RENTON, Washington — B.J. Daniels has played football since he was 6 years old and never played any position other than quarterback.
So naturally there was some hesitation when the Seahawks came to him asking if he would consider moving to wide receiver this offseason. However, Daniels has made a fairly seamless transition to being on the receiving end of passes during training camp and is pushing for a spot on Seattle's 53-man roster.
"I'd never played another position before in my life," Daniels said. "So to have to change a position so drastic in the professional level can, and will, be challenging."
Daniels was a four-year starter at quarterback for South Florida before being drafted in the seventh round of the 2013 draft by the San Francisco 49ers. Daniels came to Seattle after being claimed off waivers from the 49ers that October.
After spending a few weeks on the team's active roster, he was released and signed to the team's practice squad. In two seasons in Seattle, he was in uniform for just one game.
But his athleticism has intrigued the Seahawks and they wanted to find a way to get him on the field. With Tarvaris Jackson entrenched as the backup to Russell Wilson, the move to receiver seemed to be the best chance for making that happen.
"The thought was we love him as a football player, let's see if we can find a place where he can make the team and play," head coach Pete Carroll said.
Daniels had served as a wide receiver on the scout team each of the last two seasons. Those glimpses while he was lining up against the Seahawks' vaunted secondary every day in practice helped fuel the idea of converting Daniels full-time.
"Little do people know I've been going against the first-string defense for almost two years now," Daniels said.
Daniels has also become the team's backup kick returner behind rookie Tyler Lockett.
Daniels has caught five passes for 34 yards in two preseason games so far for the Seahawks. A one-handed catch in practice last week over rookie cornerback Tye Smith has been one of the highlights of training camp.
"He's getting it," receiver Doug Baldwin said. "I think the nuances of releases, the subtleties of running routes, he's figuring that out. It's a little more difficult than just running a route. There's a lot of stuff that goes into it, both physically and mentally. He's catching up as fast as he can. He's doing a really good job at it. He's staying on top of it. I think he's at a really good place."
Daniels is in a battle with Kevin Smith, Kasen Williams and Kevin Norwood for a possible sixth receiver spot on the team's roster. Daniels' versatility as a receiver, kick returner and emergency quarterback option make him the most intriguing option in the bunch.
"He's shown a lot of good things, got a lot of natural ability," Carroll said. "He's a very, very competitive kid. We like the heck out of him and the fact that he can play quarterback is huge. Who else can do that? It's rare to have a guy like that."