With the 23rd overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles selected Danny Watkins, offensive guard out of Baylor.
Watkins, the 6 foot 3, 310 pound Candadian fireman, is a relative newbie to football, first learning the sport when he enrolled at Butte College in California in 2007. He then transferred to Baylor as a replacement for Jason Smith.
At Baylor, Watkins was an All Big 12 O-lineman, starting the Senior Bowl in 2011. He started all 25 games for Baylor, totaling 134 knockdowns in his senior year alone.
Projected prior to the Draft as a late first round selection, Watkins pros include his size, power, agility, and technique. He is also a very quick study, obviously, which Howard Mudd and Andy Reid hope will translate to a short learning curve and a versatility at all positions across the line.
Watkins’s cons include the odd combination of being too inexperienced – he has only been playing football for four years – and being too old – Watkins will turn 27 in his rookie season.
Said Andy Reid:
”A lot has been said about Danny’s age. We felt he was as good a football player as there was in this draft…His clock started a little later for this sport, but he took to the game right away and was productive. I can’t tell you how happy we are to have him.”
Whether it’s a good sign that Watkins made such waves among coaches at such an advanced age in such a short period of time, or a worrying sign that we just spent the 23rd pick on a 26 year old guard who didn’t even learn to play football until he was older than Cam Newton is right now, we won’t know for certain until training camp.
Until then, let’s just give Andy the benefit of the doubt and see what happens tonight. The dynamic draft duo (Reid and Roseman) was uncharacteristicly quiet on opening night, so I’ll be looking to see some bobbin’ and weavin’ in the second and third rounds. Should be interesting.
Also, the ITI team would like to send out a special thanks to Calvin Morrissey and the GMC team for taking such good care of us at the Draft yesterday. We got a lot of good photos and insider talk (which will be posted sometime tomorrow) and none of it would have been possible without the folks at GMC. Those guys are serious, serious football fans.