Just prior to the start of what would have been his third NFL season, Danny Watkins is looking for a job.
The 6-foot-3, 310-pound West Kelowna native was cut Saturday by the Philadelphia Eagles.
Watkins, who never played football until the age of 22, was selected 23rd overall by the Eagles in the first round of the 2011 NFL draft.
He started at right guard in 18 games over two seasons for the Eagles, before losing his job early in 2012.
After missing most of training camp in his rookie season due to a player lockout, adjusting to the NFL game proved to be too steep of a learning curve for Watkins.
“A change of scenery was necessary for him,” general manager Howie Roseman said. “The pressure of being a first-round pick in Philadelphia, how he internalized that, the way for him to get his career back on track is to go to a new place and both I and (Eagles coach) Chip (Kelly) told him that (Saturday).”
Watkins’ CFL rights are owned by the B.C. Lions who selected him fourth overall in the 2011 draft.
The Mt. Boucherie grad attended training camp with the Okanagan Sun in 2006 but an injury prevented him from playing in any games in the B.C. Football Conference.
He later went on to play two seasons at Butte College in California where he was enrolled in the Fire Academy program.
Watkins then starred two seasons at Baylor University in Waco, Texas where he gained attention as one of the country’s top offensive lineman.