Danny Watkins seems relieved in his new environment. The former Eagles offensive lineman, a 2011 first-round pick who was waived Saturday at the cutdown deadline after two disappointing years, said he regretted that his career bottomed out quickly in Philadelphia.
“I got to Philadelphia and it was just a rough go from the get-go," Watkins told the Miami Herald. "I felt like it just got broken down to bones and never got built back. It was more a mental thing.
“[It] was very disappointing to myself that it never panned out the way it could. Because I know I can play physical and tough football, but it just never ... I think it was more a mental aspect than anything.”
After cutting ties with Watkins, Eagles general manager Howie Roseman had said the 23rd overall pick in 2011 felt overburdened by the expectations of being a first-round pick and didn’t showcase the “enforcer” demeanor that he displayed in college at Baylor, where he played left tackle.
As a rookie, Watkins didn’t see eye to eye with then-position coach Howard Mudd. He started just 18 games in two seasons, playing just 23.
"These last three years have been such a whirlwind,” Watkins added. “It was great opportunity to play in the NFL. My college career was great, I love Baylor and what they did for me there. Looking back six years ago, if you had told me I'd be in the position I am today, I would have laughed at you.”
Watkins said he chose the Dolphins over another team that he declined to name and added that he’s excited to play for Miami. He was asked by the new coaching staff to take some reps at center, according to the Herald, although he never played center in college or with the Eagles.
“So this is huge for me,” he said. “Like I said, it's the most exciting thing that's happened to me and I'm going to take full advantage of the opportunity and make the best of it."