The Eagles gave up on 2011 first-round pick Danny Watkins on Saturday, ending the guard’s disappointing tenure with the team after 23 games and 18 starts that featured few moments when it was clear why Watkins went so high in the draft after leaving Baylor.
After making the move on Saturday, General Manager Howie Roseman said that he thought Watkins would benefit from a change in scenery because the guard had “internalized” the pressure of being a top pick in Philadelphia in a way that wasn’t working for him. The biggest problem, according to Roseman, is that the “innate toughness” Watkins showed in college never materialized in the NFL.
“You felt like you were getting an enforcer, and he never let himself go here on that, and I don’t know why that was,” Roseman said, via Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com. “I told him that was what I was the most confused by. Because that was something that everyone at Baylor told you about and you saw on his play on the field, and I think it all goes back to the pressure he put on himself here. He put a lot of pressure on himself, and he couldn’t just go out and play, and I think getting away from being Danny Watkins the first-round pick and just being Danny Watkins will really help him.”
Watkins didn’t start playing football until his early 20s and he was 26 when the Eagles made him a first round pick. He’s now 29 and a change of scenery will have to work its wonders quickly in order for Watkins to extend his career well into his 30s.