Mike Vick is almost Super-Man. Almost. To get there, he needs something more than horrific blindside protection. Danny Watkins, could be the answer to that.
Watkins is a very interesting prospect. As of now he is 26. He has very little experience playing football. That alone might ward off some teams. At the same time, teams will be very interested in his raw football ability and his maturity off the field.
However, there is no question that his age and lack of experience is going to raise a lot of caution flags and understandably so. By the time he takes the field, he will be a 27 year old rookie who is still learning the game.
I don’t think it’s a stretch to say many coaches and GMs will have concerns about whether or not he simply has enough time to develop into an elite offensive guard before his physical prime passes him. At the same time, the lack of experience is also a lack of wear and tear on his body. He did not start playing football until 2007.
Beyond that, his play on the field speaks for itself. If there’s one player that you all will know that I can compare him to, it’s Mr. John Runyan. Runyan made himself into an icon in Philadelphia because of his nasty streak. He played the game of football the way that the original warriors of the gridiron would’ve been proud of.
Watkins plays with the same nastiness. That is easily explained because, until 2007, the only sports he played were ice hockey and rugby. Needless to say, those sports are brutal. Watkins would instantly bring that physical attitude to the right side of the offensive line; something that is desperately needed.
However, he is more than just a punishing blocker. He is also an exceptional athlete, evidenced by the sports he played prior to football. Those are the kind of guys that Eagles offensive line coach Howard Mudd adores. Mudd’s views on Watkins will easily be a major factor in whether or not the Eagles take a serious look at him.
In this offseason, Watkins took part in both the Senior Bowl and the NFL Scouting Combine. At the Senior Bowl, he mostly took reps at the right guard position and he was one of the standout players from my point of view. He finished all of his blocks and easily cleared room for both rushers and his quarterback, much like he had all season with Baylor.
In the combine, he put up decent numbers. However, if you know me, you know that combine numbers don’t really interest me at all. I care about the play on the field and Watkins has put out some excellent work in that regard.
There is no question that the Eagles need to and will upgrade the right side of the offensive line. Danny Watkins could be the perfect fit for that need and it will not surprise me at all if the Eagles take him at #23 overall this coming Thursday.