Does Lane Johnson spell the end for Danny Watkins?

Chris Trotman

It's kind of odd to be declaring a first round pick done after just 2 seasons, but one has to wonder whether Danny Watkins chance to become a meaningful contributor for the Eagles has come and gone?

With Lane Johnson being taken #4 overall, it's pretty clear that he'll be starting at OT. It will almost certainly be on the right this year, but with an eye toward a switch to the left when Peters leaves (his deal is up after 2014). The Eagles did not pick Johnson at #4 to sit him on the bench to learn or play at guard.

Presumably Peters and Mathis have the LT & LG spots locked down. Kelce will play center, but even if he's not healthy it wouldn't be Watkins that replaces him. So that really leaves one spot up for grabs, right guard.

Right now though, it seems like it would take a lot to knock Todd Herremans out of that job. With Johnson coming into to play RT, the conventional wisdom is that Herremans, who spent most of his career at left guard, will slide over.

So where does Danny fit? As a backup? He's not making a ton of money so that's feasible, but no team is taking a guy in the first round to be a backup within 3 years. So if he was riding the pine I wouldn't expect he'd be on the team very long. After 3 years, they won't be saving him as an heir apparent for anyone.

But he's not getting cut right now, so there's always a chance. If Herremans isn't 100% Watkins would obviously be the top choice to replace him. If Peters isn't healthy or gets hurt again, presumably Lane Johnson would take over there opening a spot for Watkins. That is assuming that Herremans would be slid back out as opposed to a guy like Dennis Kelly just taking over the RT job.

Of course, with a new coach and system there's always the chance that he flat out beats Herremans for the job. Jeff Stoutland and Chip Kelly won't have any of the preconceptions that the regime who drafted these guys had. So at this point, while our perception is that Herremans has that spot locked down, the fact is that it should be a pretty open competition.

So what say you? Is Watkins done already or will we actually see him play next year and beyond?

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