Monday, May 2, 2011
Baylor's Danny Watkins made draft history
By David Ubben
A year ago, Danny Watkins was selected fourth overall in the Canadian Football League draft by the British Columbia Lions.
After this weekend, it's clear the Lions wasted their first-round pick. Watkins stuck around Baylor for his senior year, and on Thursday night, was selected 23rd overall by the Philadelphia Eagles, one of two Bears first-rounders this year.
But according to Baylor, he's not the first player to pull the double dip.
Back in 1986, Mike Schad of Queen's University in Ontario was drafted fourth overall by Ottawa. He was also selected with the 23rd pick of the NFL draft by the Los Angeles Rams. (For our younger readers, yes, L.A. did have an NFL team once. Two of 'em, in fact. Now, they have to settle for USC being the only pro football team in town.)
Quite the coincidence that both players were selected with the same picks in both drafts: fourth in the CFL and 23rd in the NFL.
Watkins can't begin his career until the NFL lockout is lifted, but he'll do so as just the fourth Canadian first-round NFL draft pick ever.
Schad was the first. Famed offensive line bust Tony Mandarich is still the nation's highest pick ever after being selected second overall by the Green Bay Packers in 1989.
The Carolina Panthers selected Michigan running back Tim Biakabutuka with the sixth overall pick in the 1998 draft.
Watkins, a 26-year-old British Columbia native, was pegged by some as the most NFL-ready of the draft-eligible linemen. Here's a bit more on the humorous circumstances surrounding his selection.
Before Art Briles' arrival, Baylor hadn't had a first-round pick in the Big 12 era. After Phil Taylor and Watkins were drafted this year, the Bears have had three in three years. Offensive lineman Jason Smith went No. 2 overall in the 2009 draft.