- ‘Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s offensive lineman’ –
Earlier in the week, Jen covered the draft selections around the NFC East and after reviewing it once again – the Giants clearly are going to have to find some missing pieces in Free Agency, whenever that begins and with whatever stipulations that may entail. Most notably, Offensive Line is a need that was only periferably addressed by the Giants 4th round selection James Brewer.
Of course at the time — there was no Pouncey, and no Solder available to choose from. But you might recall that Gabe Crimini and Anthony Castonzo were still available when the Giants drafted #19 overall Prince Amukamara, who was the highest rated prospect on the Giants big board when their time came in round #1. This is not to debate the choice, just to observe that the Eagles were pegged down a few spots below the Giants and chose one heck of a great guy in OL Danny Watkins out of Baylor.
Former volunteer fireman, Canadian, and hockey player – the mature and beaming 26 year old Watkins is now the guy on the Eagles roster that you’ll absolutely hate to hate.
One of the first questions out of the gate at his first ever NFL Conference was handled with absolute precision – on his visit to Ground Zero:
We had the opportunity to pay our respects to Ground Zero and that was probably one of the most sobering and humbling experiences of my entire life. I don’t know what I would do losing one member of the fire service that I grow up with, let alone 343 brothers. You know, seeing that and seeing the memorials and speaking to the guys that lost guys, it was ‑‑ words can’t describe the pain you felt for them.
On being a bit older, and more mature than a typical NFL rookie:
I think being a little bit older than the guys has already helped me. Growing up in a firehouse, you learn real quick how to be a man. Everything that I’ve done up until this point, I take seriously and like a job and this is going to be no different for me. Sure, it’s a game but it’s a business and a job and I’m not going to treat that any different.
On what his expectations were heading into the 2011 draft:
This whole experience has been a new media‑type atmosphere for me. I’m a low‑key guy and I like to keep to myself ‑‑ my original plans for the Draft were to go to a ranch in the middle of nowhere with close friends and family and the firemen and have a quiet weekend but that changed in a hurry.
Just a great guy that you can tell has leadership intangibles all over the place… a classy and down to earth guy that will grow into a starting role with the Eagles, who watch the great Eric Lindros growing up, and now will be lining up across from our talented Giants Defensive line twice a year for the foreseeable future (assuming there is a season of course). Welcome to the greater NY area, Danny Watkins — it’s just a shame it happens to be in Philly.