Before the Super Bowl win this season, being an Eagles fan was synonymous with heart break and utter disappointment. When so many things go wrong, you start to think nothing will ever go right. My choice for the Eagles is what inspired this entire series, Danny Watkins.
The Andy Reid era was coming towards its end when he selected the guard from Baylor in the 1st round. He had a feel good back story, he’d originally been a fireman and then went to Butte College before transferring to Baylor. The only problem was that when he started at Butte he was 22 years old, which is the usual age of a senior in college. When the Eagles selected him he was 26 years old, which was the oldest player to be drafted in the 1st round since 1971. He was a rookie at an age where most players are nearing their second contract.
Watkins was projected to start at left guard, but instead was relegated to backup duty behind late pickup Kyle DeVan. He eventually got the nod as the starter in week 5 of the season. Watkins never looked like a capable player and seemed as if the game was too fast for him. LeSeaon McCoy was the Eagles running back at the time and he couldn’t even open up holes for one of the shiftiest backs in recent memory. He was cut by the team before the 2013 season, cementing his status as a draft bust.
When the Eagles selected Watkins the following players were still available; Cameron Jordan, Jimmy Smith, Mark Ingram, Kyle Rudolph, and Randall Cobb. Honestly missing out on those players doesn’t break my heart, although Smith and Ingram would have been nice additions. I’m sure Chip Kelly would have traded any of those players so it really doesn’t matter.
What made this selection so frustrating was the fact that Watkins was projected as a 2nd/3rd round talent. Even I knew not to draft him in the first just based off his age, although I’m a pretty decent couch GM. But on the bright side the Eagles are fresh off a Super Bowl victory and their offensive line was named the league’s best, no thanks to Watkins. Fly Eagles Fly!