Draft Day 2011 and a photo with commish Roger Goodell was the height of Watkins’ NFL career.

By Ben Sullivan

Remember offensive lineman Danny Watkins?

Eagles fans do because he was taken with the team’s first-round pick at No. 23 overall in 2011 as a guard out of Baylor.

He was 6-3, 315 pounds and coach Andy Reid bragged about the 27-year-old Watkins as the sleeper in the draft.

In fact, Watkins was the poster child for Reid’s bizarre belief that he could see things in prospects that no other NFL exec could!

Watkins was such a sleeper that the NFL.com’s pre-draft analysis went like this:

Watkins is new to the game of football, but has the strength and athleticism to play at the next level. He does not have the arm length and first step explosion to play left tackle, however he projects to be a quality starting guard. He plays with terrific balance and has the foot quickness to hold in pass protection. Despite his limited football experience, he engages very well with his hands and maintains a strong position. He will occasionally have lapses in his reads, but he has very high upside and will likely be a second day pick.

New to the game of football because Watkins’ real passion was firefighting, and he showed no talent for the NFL wars, played two years here and one in Miami and we all thought he was just another figment of Reid’s imagination

Now, NJ.com is reporting that after photos surfaced last week of former Eagles offensive lineman Danny Watkins at the scene of a fire in 2012, the Philly Fire Department has launched an internal investigation into whether Watkins violated fire department policy by being at the scene.

In the photos, Watkins can be seen in official Fire Department gear as firefighters extinguish a blaze at Aramingo and Wakeling streets in Philly.

Whether Watkins entered the building is not clear.

Fire Chief Peter Crespo told NJ.com that even though Watkins might have signed a waiver, acknowledging the danger, the department is treating the investigation as a “serious” matter.

Crespo also said the department will investigate allegations that Watkins gave firefighters tickets to Eagles games in exchange for being allowed to ride along with them and fight fires. Crespo said the investigation into Watkins’ involvement is expected to take a few weeks.

Watkins, a draft bust, made headlines earlier this week when it was revealed that he is working as a firefighter in Dallas. Watkins’ agent would not say if Watkins was working as a paid firefighter or a volunteer.

Watkins, who was drafted by the Eagles in first round of the 2011 NFL draft, was released by the team after two seasons. His love for firefighting was no secret when the Eagles drafted him: He visited a local Philadelphia fire department prior to being introduced at the NovaCare Complex.


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