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2011 NFL Draft Grades: Eagles Draft Pick Danny Watkins Draws Early Praise

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We are sure to get a lot more grades and punditry as the day goes on and if you come across any commentary on the Eagles pick, be sure to let me know and I'll update this post. However, the early reactions are quite positive over the Eagles selection of Baylor OL Danny Watkins.

Pro Football Weekly - "Danny Watkins, a former firefighter, landing in Philadelphia is just perfect. It's a high-character pick by a team that values such things. It's a high-value pick because you know what you are getting in the tough offensive lineman. -  Andy Reid loves linemen, and he loves lunchpail linemen like Watkins. The kid will play any position the coaches want and will set a tone with his work ethic. People have complained that the Eagles do not run the ball enough, and though they still will be a 60-40 pass-run team, you can expect to see some third-and-1 rushes to go right behind Watkins' keister. - Watkins has a lot of Logan Mankins in him, full of fire and brimstone, piss and vinegar. Eagles fans, trust me: You'll love the way he plays."

Brian Billick - Great story, mature kid. Still, you worry at 26 you wonder how much upside does he still have, well this guy still has huge upside because he's only played for a short time. Two places he had to go, either Chicago or Philly anywhere else would have been a travesty. He's gonna fit into Philly so well. He's going to be a solid pick for them on the offensive line. I just think it's a great pick. He could end up inside at guard, he has played tackle as well. I think it's a great pick for Philly. He'll transition very quickly, he'll be a day one starter for them.

Pro Football Focus- " While the Eagles have a few more needs on defense, Watkins should be able to come in and fight for a starting job. He played left tackle in college, but the Eagles are set at there with Jason Peters who had a +13.8 rating in 2010. Watkins has been projected to be an NFL guard and that’s where he should see action, specifically at right guard, challenging Max Jean-Gilles for the gig. MJG didn’t stand out in 2010 but didn’t play terribly either. Watkins is already 26 years old, so the Eagles expect an impact right away."

John Czarnecki, Fox Sports - "Baylor guard Danny Watkins, a volunteer firefighter, discovered football when he went to Butte Junior College in California. Yes, the same school that produced the PackersAaron Rodgers. Watkins used to be a hockey player, having grown up in Canada. Offensive line was a priority with the Eagles, who need to protect Michael Vick. Watkins started 25 games at Baylor and he’s a tough guy, a known fighter. His attitude should appeal to Philadelphia fans. The Eagles have traded up in the first round four times in the last eight years, including in 2010, but they didn’t have the ammunition to do it. They were hoping to secure another first-round pick this year by trading their backup quarterback, Kevin Kolb. But the NFL labor troubles prevented that. Honestly, there are a lot of teams that took quarterbacks today who wouldn’t have swapped their first-round pick for Kolb. Solid choice by the Eagles and about where Watkins ranked."

Adam Caplan, Fox Sports - "The Eagles decided to pass on offensive tackle Gabe Carimi in order to select a true guard in Danny Watkins. The 26-year old interior offensive lineman will compete for the starting right guard job with the Eagles. With Watkins in the mix, Philadelphia could look at filling a need at cornerback later in the draft."