Five years ago to the day, the Eagles made a pick that caused fans and analysts alike to let out a collective groan. We're talking of course about the infamous Danny Watkins draft, when the franchise used its first-round choice on a 26-year-old offensive lineman with what amounted to two years of football experience.
What could possibly go wrong?
Watkins was released after two seasons and out of the NFL in three. And in that brief time, he became more notorious for being a literal Canadian firefighter than anything he ever did on the field, including being bad at football, which is really saying something. I mean, who could've seen that coming, besides an Eagles front office and coaching staff that conducted numerous interviews?
Well, the joke is on the Eagles and the rest of the league anyway, because it turns out Watkins' true calling was fighting fires. In fact, the Baylor product is one of the best damn firefighters in the league, earning 2015 Rookie of the Year honors from the Frisco Fire Department in Texas. Via The Dallas Morning News:
In February, Watkins was honored as the Frisco Fire Department 2015 Rookie of the Year (you can see that from the Feb. 12 tweet below from Frisco City Council member Tim H. Nelson):
He now lives in Fort Worth with his wife, Deanna, and works 24 on and 48 off. And, apparently, he's excelled.
To call Watkins a bust would be accurate in NFL terms, but far from reality considering he's now working to be a hero.
I'm sure Eagles fans will take great solace imagining Watkins pulling Dallas Cowboys fans out of burning buildings. In fact, if there was a worse case scenario than Watkins busting in two years flat then going on to rescue your worst enemies, I don't know what it is.
It was an unorthodox selection at the time, but Watkins' tale has become increasingly unusual among even the most bizarre draft-day misadventures. It just goes to show while the draft is a crapshoot, it's probably a bit less so if your pick is actually interested in playing football for a living.
In other words, Howie Roseman better make sure Carson Wentz's lifelong dream isn't to become sheriff of Fargo, North Dakota.