Danny Watkins Baylor

April 29, 2011 by staff 

Danny Watkins Baylor, Kelowna offensive lineman Danny Watkins left a guild and joined another Thursday 23 overall by the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL draft in New York. It is the first athlete before Christ was born to go in the first round.

The 26-year-old former firefighter, who had a chance in football and ended up starring at Baylor, began his day with members of West Kelowna Fire Department Fire tour lounge in New York.

Some members of his fire department were present at the Radio City Music Hall to hear his name announced.

“I thought it was the wrong number,” said Watkins, of the telephone call he received from the Eagles. “I was very excited.”

“I know it’s not a glamorous position, but is a crucial position in the game,” Eagles coach Andy Reid. “This is a guy who is a tough, tough and has a great character on and off the field. It’s a class act.”

Watkins, listed at 6 feet 4 inches and 312 pounds, played left tackle in college but projects as a guard in the pros. He could help an offensive line that allowed 49 sacks last season, despite the presence of quarterback Michael Vick.

“He will bring toughness and attitude bluecollar on offense,” said Reid. “He is very powerful in the nucleus and in the jam. These are hard things to teach and who has it.”

Although it is much older than most rookies, the Eagles will not be put off by the age of Watkins. He turns 27 in November.

“His body has not gone through the refining process in place,”said Reid.” It’s a unique situation. This was the guy we wanted. ”

Watkins could step in and start at right guard. The Eagles used Max Jean-Gilles and Nick Cole last season. He could also figure into the mix right in front of more than Winston Justice and King Dunlap.

The selection of a lineman who never so much as high school football player was one of a series of turns in a very busy day.

It ruled Thursday that the NFL has to start the year the league this morning under an order of Judge U.S. District Court Susan Nelson, earlier this week that lifted the blockade of its players.

Job uncertainty was evident when NFL commissioner Roger Goddell opened the project to loud boos.

Watkins saw four offensive linemen to go in front of him, but was selected by the Eagles to work in front of the protection of Vick.

Auburn quarterback sensation Cam Newton was the first pick of the Carolina Panthers.

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