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2011 Draft Profiles: OT – Danny Watkins
Age: 26 years old
Experience: Senior (4 years)
Starts at LT: 25 games
Starts at RT: 0 games
Height: 6 feet 3 inches
Weight: 310 lbs.
Arm Length: 34.25 inches
Hand Width: 10.13 inches
Projection: Left Tackle (Offensive Guard)
Projected Round: 2nd – 4th Round
Combine Results (Pro Day Results)
40 Yard Dash: 5.40 seconds
3-Cone Drill: 7.61 seconds
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.62 seconds
Bench Press: 29 reps
Vertical Jump: 26.0 inches
Broad Jump: 92 inches
Speed: Watkins isn’t one of the faster linemen, but he sits right in the range of the average times for an offensive lineman. He shows a fairly good skill at being able to move down field to help out at the second level. He showed strong ability as a lead blocker, probably a result of extensive experience playing rugby and hockey. Given his size, he shows very good footwork and good speed.
Agility: Watkins, again, ends up in the middle of performances for offensive linemen, but tends towards the better times in his agility tests. His 3-cone drill and short shuttle times confirm scouting reports that routinely praise his lateral mobility and agility. Despite being an exceptionally raw talent, he shows a very strong ability to mirror defensive ends and stay with them when moving laterally. His vertical speed may not be exceptionally impressive, but many scouting reports describe him as being light on his feet when moving with defenders. He didn’t have much experience trapping but shows the necessary agility to do well if asked to in the NFL as a tackle, or if he is moved inside to guard.
Experience: At 26 years old (27 before the start of next season), Watkins is one of the oldest members of the 2011 draft class, but also has one of the shortest football histories. He has been playing football for 4 years, with only 2 of those years being against serious competition at Baylor. Watkins is a Canadian national who spent most of his life playing rugby and ice hockey. He even has two fake front teeth as a result of his time playing hockey. He was introduced to football as a result of his aspiration to be a firefighter. He initially attended Jr. College because of its fire academy, then joined the football team to keep active. He showed a serious enough potential that he was recruited by Baylor, and transferred before his Junior Year. He became the starting left tackle automatically, and has proven himself against some very strong competition despite still being firmly in the “learning” phase of his immersion into football. He is considered to be a very humble and mature prospect with a very strong work ethic.
Size/Build: Watkins has a very good size, and has a frame that supports 310 lbs easily without looking overly large. He has very good natural strength, especially in his upper body allowing him to be dominant while still learning major portions of technique. Despite still not having all of the nuances of blocking down completely, he shows an excellent aptitude as a blocker. He has excellent body placement from his legs to his hands, knowing how to set his feet to gain a better anchor position as well as knowing where to put his hands to leverage defenders. His broad jump was particularly pathetic, and his vertical jump being rather low raises serious questions about his leg strength, but evidence from his collegiate career indicate that his combine results may be anomalous, or that he has such good technique with his legs and feet that he can remain dominant while not having amazing leg strength.
Pass Blocking: Watkins had the agility and lower body strength to be rated as one of the best college tackles in this draft. He does a good job of engaging defensive linemen instead of simply remaining a bystander and letting feisty defensive ends utilize tricks to get around him. As a result of being so new to the game, Watkins is still susceptible to complex blitzing schemes and intricate tricks, but he shows a very high learning curve. Since he is a shorter prospect he does not get beaten by stockier defensive linemen nearly as often as his taller first round counterparts. He shows a very good ability to not give up the edge to premier speed rushers and shows good technique at pushing them off their line and around the pocket.
Run Blocking: While not being particularly good reacting to the snap yet, Watkins shows plenty of skill at hitting his mark low and pushing them off the line. With his serious upper body strength, he tends to use his arms to manipulate defenders very effectively. He positions his feet very well to anchor himself and not get pushed back easily. He is capable of driving defenders to the ground with just his arms, but he is also very very good at cut blocks and almost always takes out his defender. He plays with an aggressive quality as a run blocker and will continue to improve as he gains more experience and finishes rounding out his technique.
Health: Danny Watkins shows a very durable quality. His health history does not extend to his earlier life in Canada and injuries he sustained playing Rugby and Hockey, but since starting Jr. College, Watkins has not had any health issues. In fact, judging by the scouting reports, it is likely his only serious injury was losing two teeth while playing as an enforcer in ice hockey. Watkins participated fully in the Combine and is likely to do so at his Pro-Day as well.
OVERVIEW: Danny Watkins has been projected as high as the second round, despite not getting much hype. For the Colts, Watkins has a couple of oddities that seem to crop up more often for the Colts than it does for other teams. First, he is Canadian, which would make him at least the third Canadian prospect picked up by the Colts in the past three years. Secondly, he is an older prospect. While only Austin Collie comes to mind as being “older than average” when he was drafted by the Colts, it is well documented that the Colts do not take “young” prospects, especially in the first couple round. If it looks like teams are particularly interested in Watkins, and the Colts are unable to secure a LT prospect in the first round, Watkins is someone the Colts could easily target in the second and have a good enough prospect to take over at LT or RT. Most projections for Watkins have him going as an offensive guard, which like current starting LT Charlie Johnson, could be a better and more natural fit, but Watkins has enough potential and maturity to be effective at LT for the Colts already. This may not be the answer fans want to hear as we’ve already been settling with Johnson at LT for a few years and the prospect of having another “He’s more of a LG than LT,” linemen protecting Manning’s blindside could draw some serious indignation. As a backup plan should the top OT prospects fly off the board early, though, Watkins could be the best chance for the Colts to score a very high ceiling lineman with the ability to start immediately and take over at LT, allowing the line to shuffle and improve.
About the author
At the moment, I am just like every other dedicated Colts fan (I'm anxious for the season, and tired of the lack of news). On a personal note though, I am a Purdue student who happens to have a desire to write and a fairly deep passion for the Colts and statistics. As such, I am basically a troll. I have been to 38 U.S. States at least, living in a handful of them, and I've been to 6 other countries, living in England the last two years of High School, and then coming back to the US for University. I'm an introverted person, but on the bright side, that gives me more than enough time to lose myself in random projects, some of which really helps when trying to provide serious content on everyone's favorite NFL team.
|This entry was posted by Jacob Crocker on March 5, 2011 at 2:30 pm, and is filed under 2011 NFL Draft. Follow any responses to this post through . You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.