Danny Watkins
No. 63, 62
Position:Offensive guard
Personal information
Born: (1984-11-06) November 6, 1984 (age 39)
Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:310 lb (141 kg)
Career information
High school:West Kelowna (BC) Mt. Boucherie
NFL draft:2011 / Round: 1 / Pick: 23
CFL Draft:2010 / Round: 1 / Pick: 4
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:26
Games started:18
Player stats at PFR

Danny William Watkins (born November 6, 1984) is a Canadian former professional football player who was an offensive guard in the National Football League (NFL).

Early life

Watkins' father, Todd, is a road grader. In high school, Watkins played rugby and hockey as a defenseman, but became the "designated goon" because of his size.[1][2] He became a junior firefighter when he was 16 after visiting the West Kelowna Fire and Rescue squad.[2][3]

College career

Butte College

Watkins enrolled at Butte College to study fire sciences in order to become a firefighter after a year as a junior firefighter. The school's football coach recruited him to play for their football team, at the age of 22 it was the first time Watkins had ever played football. He played football at Butte from 2007−2008, helping them to a perfect 11−0 record in 2008. Butte coaches sent game tape of his to Division I-A schools, and California, Hawaii, and Baylor were the schools interested.[1]

Baylor University

Watkins transferred to Baylor University,[4] after head coach Art Briles was impressed with his game tape at Butte.[1] Watkins started at left offensive tackle as a junior in 2009 for the Bears. He replaced Jason Smith, who was drafted second overall by the St. Louis Rams in the 2009 NFL draft.[2]

He was selected fourth overall by the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League in the 2010 CFL Draft, but played out his last year at Baylor University, the 2010 season.[5]

Professional career


Prior to the 2011 NFL draft, Watkins was projected to be drafted in the first or second round.[6] He hired former NFL offensive lineman Joe Panos as his agent.[7]

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
6 ft 3+38 in
(1.91 m)
310 lb
(141 kg)
34+14 in
(0.87 m)
10+18 in
(0.26 m)
5.40 s 1.82 s 2.97 s 4.62 s 7.61 s 26 in
(0.66 m)
7 ft 8 in
(2.34 m)
29 reps
All values from 2011 NFL Scouting Combine.[8][6]

Watkins invited five of his friends from the West Kelowna fire department to join him at the draft. On the morning of the draft, Watkins and his firefighter friends visited a New York City firehouse that lost several members during the September 11 attacks.[9]

Philadelphia Eagles

Watkins was selected with the 23rd overall pick by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2011 NFL draft.[10] He became the oldest first-round selection since 1971 at the age of 26. He was the first Canadian to be drafted in the first rounds of both the CFL and NFL drafts since Mike Schad in 1986.[2] He was projected to start as a rookie at right offensive guard[1] and signed a four-year contract worth $7.9 million on August 1.[11] However, the Eagles claimed Kyle DeVan off waivers from the Indianapolis Colts before the start of the season and Watkins was benched. Watkins was inactive for the first two weeks of the season and was active for a week three game against the New York Giants, but did not play. He was inactive again in week four, but was promoted to the starting right guard on October 5, due to the ineffectiveness of DeVan through the first four games of the season.[12] Watkins was released on August 31, 2013.[13] Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said the "innate toughness" Watkins showed at Baylor never showed up in the NFL.[14]

Miami Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins signed Watkins to a one-year contract on September 3, 2013, after waiving backup lineman Josh Samuda.[15]


In 2014, it was reported that Watkins had left the NFL and was a firefighter in Frisco, Texas.[16]


  1. ^ a b c d McLane, Jeff (April 30, 2011). "'Tough guy' Watkins brings 'tude to the line". The Philadelphia Inquirer. pp. 1, 2. Retrieved May 24, 2024 – via Newspapers.com.
  2. ^ a b c d Beamish, Mike (April 30, 2011). "Canadian ready to put out pass rusher". Montreal Gazette. pp. 1, 2. Retrieved May 24, 2024 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ Patton, Steve (May 1, 2011). "Hockey history helps Watkins". Reading Eagle. Archived from the original on September 26, 2012. Retrieved May 1, 2011.
  4. ^ "Canadian jumps from fire to NFL". CBC.ca. January 26, 2011. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  5. ^ "BC selects Danny Watkins with 4th pick". Archived from the original on September 5, 2012. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Danny Watkins, DS #2 OG, Baylor". nfldraftscout.com. Retrieved April 30, 2011.
  7. ^ Lefko, Perry (April 7, 2011). "Watkins draft elite". sportsnet.ca. Archived from the original on April 9, 2011. Retrieved July 31, 2011.
  8. ^ "Danny Watkins Draft and Combine Prospect Profile". NFL.com. Retrieved July 18, 2021.
  9. ^ Masters, Mark. "Watkins still reeling from NFL draft". The National Post. Archived from the original on January 29, 2013. Retrieved July 28, 2011.
  10. ^ Kaplan, Emily (December 17, 2014). "Finding Danny Watkins". SI.com. Retrieved May 24, 2024.
  11. ^ Florio, Mike (August 1, 2011). "Danny Watkins agrees to terms with Eagles". profootballtalk.com. Retrieved August 1, 2011.
  12. ^ Mosher, Geoff (October 5, 2011). "Source: Eagles to start first-round pick Watkins". delawareonline.com. Retrieved October 5, 2011.
  13. ^ Sheridan, Phil (August 31, 2013). "Eagles release Danny Watkins". ESPN.com. Retrieved May 24, 2024.
  14. ^ Alper, Josh (September 1, 2013). "Howie Roseman on Danny Watkins: The toughness never materialized". NBCSports.com. Retrieved May 24, 2024.
  15. ^ Beasley, Adam H. (September 4, 2013). "Former first-round pick Danny Watkins gets second chance with Miami Dolphins". miamiherald.com. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  16. ^ Lombardo, Matt (August 26, 2014). "Former Eagles first rounder Danny Watkins leaves NFL, returns to firefighting". NJ.com. Retrieved September 21, 2014.

Further reading