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Old 04-07-2011, 12:20 AM   #1
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Default The Danny Watkins Fascination

The Danny Watkins Fascination
Posted on April 6, 2011 by adam

If you’ve been paying attention to the endless stream of mock drafts floating around the Internet over the past couple of months there’s a good chance you’ve stumbled across one that featured the Steelers using their first-round pick on Baylor guard Danny Watkins. We’ve talked about this quite a bit, and as long as it keeps coming up we’ll continue to laugh at it. The latest expert to send Watkins in Pittsburgh’s direction: Mel Kiper’s arch-nemesis at ESPN, Todd McShay.

Said McShay (it’s an Insider article behind their pay wall): What do you think the Las Vegas odds would have been at the start of the 2010 season that Baylor would have back-to-back picks in the first round? In all seriousness, Watkins is solid in pass protection and as a run blocker and brings a nasty disposition to the table. He would be a nice fit next to 2010 first-rounder and Pro Bowler Maurkice Pouncey. The Steelers could also opt for a cornerback like Williams or Harris, but the interior offensive line is Pittsburgh’s top need.

I’m guessing the odds of Baylor players going back-to-back (he has the Jets taking defensive tackle Phil Taylor with the pick just before the Steelers) in the first round are better than that of the Steelers using their top pick on a 26-year-old (who will turn 27 during the season) guard.

For one, here’s a quick look at the age of every Steelers first round draft pick since 2000 during their rookie season:

Maurkice Pouncey (21), Ziggy Hood (22), Rashard Mendenhall (21), Lawrence Timmons (21), Santonio Holmes (22), Heath Miller (22), Ben Roethlisberger (22), Troy Polamalu (22), Kendall Simmons (23), Casey Hampton (23), Plaxico Burress (22).

Since Mike Tomlin has been the Steelers’ head coach the first-round picks have consistently been on the lower side of 22. All young. All athletic. All with rather large upside. I’m not saying that Watkins can’t possibly get any better than he already is — he has, after all, only played football for three years — but how much upside does he really have at this point?

If he were to join the Steelers roster for the 2011 season he would be older than the following the players on the day he arrived, before he suited up for one practice: Dennis Dixon, Jonathan Dwyer, Rashard Mendenhall, Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, Mike Wallace, David Johnson, Doug Legursky, Maurkice Pouncey, Ramon Foster, Chris Scott, Ziggy Hood, Steve McClendon, Stevenson Sylvester, Lawrence Timmons, Jason Worilds, Crezdon Butler, William Gay, Keenan Lewis, Ryan Mundy.

He would also be older than Limas Sweed, Ra’shon Harris and Tyler Grisham, and within weeks of Tony Hills and Isaac Redman. Needless to say, that’s a large chunk of the roster and practice squad.

I suppose it’s possible the Steelers could value Watkins and be willing to overlook his age, but it would represent quite a shift in drafting strategy (at least as far as the first round is concerned).

I’m betting against it.
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Old 04-07-2011, 04:54 AM   #2
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Default Re: The Danny Watkins Fascination

i would grab him in a second if he fell to us in round 2 but no way would i grab him in the 1st
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:56 AM   #3
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Default Re: The Danny Watkins Fascination

if they think he's starting material ( like pouncey ) from day one , why not ? as long as he could be a solid contributor for 6 or 7 years , go for it. some of these guys are 26...27 before they crack the starting line up anyway .
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Old 04-09-2011, 07:34 AM   #4
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Default Re: The Danny Watkins Fascination

I just don't see the Steeler's, or any other team for that matter, picking a 26 year old in Rd 1. Rd 2, yes. I just think there is too much "focus", for lack of better term, on first round picks. It's interesting to note that if a team picks Watkins in the 1st, they'll talk about "how you can use a Rd 1 pick on a 26 YO", but if he is chosen in the second, he'll be a "great bargain". If the Steelers really want him over other available players, trade down into Rd 2 and pick him up there.
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Old 04-11-2011, 12:26 PM   #5
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Default Re: The Danny Watkins Fascination

I really don't think the Steelers have a need at guard. Legursky made a name for himself and they have about 10 other guys who have played the position. OT is where their need is. How happy were we with the play of the guys that backed up Starks? If Starks has an issue with his neck or Flozell goes down, who's the reliable back-up? And who's the long term answer to those guys? My prediction is Colon never plays to the level he was at prior to his injury. So I would think OT is a much greater need than RG. So the talk of taking an old guy as a 1st rounder don't even get off the ground with me.
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