Pats & Senior Bowl: Danny Watkins

Every day from Senior Bowl practices this week, New England native Steve Muench of ESPN's Scouts Inc. will highlight one player who catches his eye from a Patriots perspective.

On Thursday, it's Baylor guard Danny Watkins:

"He has an interesting background. He grew up a hockey player, was a part-time firefighter in Canada, and he wanted to become a full-time firefighter. As part of that process, he was told it would benefit him to go to school, so he instead enrolled at Junior College and played two years of football there. He earned a scholarship to Baylor from there and has developed to the point that it looks like he will be one of the first guards off the board, possibly in the second round.

"One thing that is impressive about him is his balance. He is always under control, both as a run-blocker and pass-blocker. He plays with a good pad level and a consistent wide base. He doesn't have explosive power, but it's natural power. What I mean by that is that he's not necessarily going to jack you up, but he'll get in position and move you off the ball in that way.

"Watching him here, it stood out when he was going up against his Baylor teammate, Phil Taylor, who is one of the best nose tackles here. Watkins was one of the few offensive linemen to hold his own going against Taylor, who is 337 pounds. Watkins measured in at 312 pounds, so he showed he could handle that kind of surge, staying wide and balanced. He played left tackle at Baylor, but at 6-3, he's not long enough or at this point quick enough to project at that spot, so that's why he's viewed as a guard.

"When you look at him, he's the type of player who doesn't necessarily jump out at you because he's making it almost look too easy. He has a lot of experience and he was one guy, when we popped on the tape, that we were really excited to see."