Danny Watkins looking for a fresh start

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

In 2011, the Eagles spent their first round pick on guard Danny Watkins. Guard is not a sexy pick, in fact it may arguably be the least sexy pick you can make... But really good ones can be very valuable to an offense. Also, when you take one with a first round, you're thinking he's going to be pretty special.

So far, Watkins has hardly been special. He failed to win a starting job in his rookie season, which for a first round pick at the guard spot is not very common. It's typically a plug & play position. Watkins would eventually get the job and start the last 12 games of the season, but didn't exactly impress in doing so.

He started the first 6 games of 2012 before a nagging foot injury kept him out of the lineup. However, when he was healthy enough to come back, he still wasn't playing. Heading into year 3, Watkins may be facing his last shot.

So it's good to hear Howie Roseman speak highly of the 28 year old's attitude this offseason.

"We're really encouraged by Danny," said Roseman. "He's got a chip on his shoulder. He's really energized, literally, to come in and get somewhat of a fresh start. That's how he looks at it. He's been here in the offseason program.

Roseman said Watkins has even skipped his honeymoon to ensure that he was present for the first workouts of the Chip Kelly era. He had apparently set his wedding date around the NFL calendar under the assumption that Andy Reid would still be the head coach.

"In fact, he got married on a Saturday because when you have a veteran coach you don't start your offseason program until today. So he had set his wedding date. He drove in from Texas. He drove by himself and didn't take the honeymoon. (He) came to be here on time for the first day of the offseason programs. He's got a great opportunity here to get a fresh start and we told him, 'Just go out and focus on your job. Don't worry about anything that happened in the past.'"

Having Watkins finally fulfill his potential would be a big boost to the Eagles offensive line. With Chip Kelly and Jeff Stoutland here installing a new run first offense, it should play to his strengths. He'll certainly be one of the key guys to watch as the summer rolls on.

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