Eagles rookie guard Danny Watkins. Image courtesy of our guest photographer Steven Ramiza. Check out more of his shots from camp here.
Matt Williamson from Scouts Inc did a recent breakdown of the Eagles offensive line, which is one of the few spots on the team that still has to be considered a question mark. The left side is pretty well set, but elsewhere that really isn't the case. Specifically, the right side is all but guaranteed to have two new starters, which is a big deal when your QB is a lefty. Check out the full article here, but I wanted to focus on what Williamson had to say about the right side, and specifically two players that are turning heads at Lehigh.
The Eagles used their first-round pick on Danny Watkins. A tackle at Baylor, Watkins is projected to play guard at this level. I do think he could contribute as a right tackle for Philadelphia if need-be. Even with the lack of practice time during the lockout being considered, you don’t draft guards in the first round to use them as reserves. He is sure to start at guard, probably on the right side. I think Watkins will be a Pro Bowl guard before long.
At right tackle, I mentioned that Herremans could be an option, but the most logical starter here is newly signed Ryan Harris. Like Jackson, durability has been the No. 1 negative with Harris. But this is a guy who was excellent in Denver’s quicker zone-blocking scheme. Harris is a well above-average athlete for an NFL right tackle and exactly what Mudd looks for at the position.
He makes an important point there about Harris. He's an extremely athletic guy, which is what Howard Mudd looks for first in an offensive lineman. While the Eagles have always liked guys that can move around, they've liked their big maulers even more. They used to have a guy that was both in Shawn Andrews, but we know how that turned out. However, Mudd has never seemed to care all that much about size. Look at all those great offensive lines he coached in Indy. They weren't packed with 350 pound immovable objects and yet Peyton Manning was routinely the least sacked QB in football and guys like Edgerrin James were having pro bowl years running the ball.
So expect to see and hear more about these athletic types on the line. Danny Watkins is 300+ pounds, but wears it better than I've probably ever seen. Nothing about him seems "fat." The rookie center Jason Kelce isn't even 300 pounds and yet he's been running with the first team in camp and appears to be thriving in Mudd's system.