Danny William Watkins (born November 6, 1984) is a former American football offensive guard in the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted fourth overall by the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League in the 2010 CFL Draft, but played out his last year at Baylor University, the 2010 season.
|No. 63, 62|
|Born:||November 6, 1984|
Kelowna, British Columbia
|Height:||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Weight:||310 lb (141 kg)|
|High school:||West Kelowna (BC) Mt. Boucherie|
|NFL Draft:||2011 / Round: 1 / Pick: 23|
|CFL draft:||2010 / Round: 1 / Pick: 4|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
Watkins' father, Todd, is a road grader. In high school, Watkins played rugby and hockey as a defenseman, but became the "designated goon" because of his size. He became a junior firefighter when he was 16 after visiting the West Kelowna Fire and Rescue squad.
Watkins enrolled at Butte College to study fire sciences in order to become a firefighter after a year as a junior firefighter. The school's football coach recruited him to play for their football team, at the age of 22 it was the first time Watkins had ever played football. He played football at Butte from 2007−2008, helping them to a perfect 11−0 record in 2008. Butte coaches sent game tape of his to Division I-A schools, and California, Hawaii, and Baylor were the schools interested.
Watkins transferred to Baylor University, after head coach Art Briles was impressed with his game tape at Butte. Watkins started at left offensive tackle as a junior in 2009 for the Bears. He replaced Jason Smith, who was drafted second overall by the St. Louis Rams in the 2009 NFL Draft.
|Ht||Wt||40-yard dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert jump||Broad||BP|
|6 ft 3 3⁄8 in
|5.36 s||1.82 s||2.97 s||4.62 s||7.61 s||26 in
|7 ft 8 in
|All values from 2011 NFL Scouting Combine.|
Watkins invited five of his friends from the West Kelowna fire department to join him at the draft. On the morning of the draft, Watkins and his firefighter friends visited a New York City firehouse that lost several members during the September 11 attacks.
Watkins was selected with the 23rd overall pick by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2011 NFL Draft. He became the oldest first-round selection since 1971 at the age of 26. He was the first Canadian to be drafted in the first rounds of both the CFL and NFL drafts since Mike Schad in 1986. He was projected to start as a rookie at right offensive guard and signed a four-year contract worth $7.9 million on August 1. However, the Eagles claimed Kyle DeVan off waivers from the Indianapolis Colts before the start of the season and Watkins was benched. Watkins was inactive for the first two weeks of the season and was active for a week three game against the New York Giants, but did not play. He was inactive again in week four, but was promoted to the starting right guard on October 5, due to the ineffectiveness of DeVan through the first four games of the season. Watkins was released on August 31, 2013. Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said the "innate toughness" Watkins showed at Baylor never materialized.
- McLane, Jeff (April 29, 2011). "Eagles top pick Watkins is older but plays like a kid". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2011-04-30.[permanent dead link]
- Beamish, Mike (April 29, 2011). "Canadian ready to put out pass rusher". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 2011-05-01.[permanent dead link]
- Patton, Steve (May 1, 2011). "Hockey history helps Watkins". Reading Eagle. Retrieved 2011-05-01.
- "Canadian jumps from fire to NFL". CBC.ca. January 26, 2011. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
- "BC selects Danny Watkins with 4th pick". Archived from the original on 2012-09-05. Retrieved 2017-08-26.
- "Danny Watkins, DS #2 OG, Baylor". nfldraftscout.com. Retrieved 2011-04-30.
- Lefko, Perry (April 7, 2011). "Watkins draft elite". sportsnet.ca. Archived from the original on April 9, 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-31.
- Masters, Mark. "Watkins still reeling from NFL draft". The National Post. Archived from the original on 29 January 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2011.
- "2011 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2019-02-26.
- Florio, Mike (August 1, 2011). "Danny Watkins agrees to terms with Eagles". profootballtalk.com. Retrieved 2011-08-01.
- Mosher, Geoff (October 5, 2011). "Source: Eagles to start first-round pick Watkins". delawareonline.com. Retrieved 2011-10-05.
- Beasley, Adam H. (September 4, 2013). "Former first-round pick Danny Watkins gets second chance with Miami Dolphins". miamiherald.com. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
- Lombardo, Matt. "Former Eagles first rounder Danny Watkins leaves NFL, returns to firefighting". NJ.com. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
- "Carlton: Burning desire drives Baylor's Danny Watkins". dallasnews.com. August 9, 2010. Retrieved 2011-04-30.