Fired up: Birds pick Watkins at No. 23

Say what you want about coach Andy Reid, but he certainly knows how to own the moment.

With U.S. servicemen on the NFL draft stage, the Eagles announced that they had selected Danny Watkins — an offensive guard from Baylor — with the 23rd pick. Watkins was immediately cheered by a group of firefighters seated in the front row. He had spent the past few days at a local firehouse in New York City, getting to know some of his “brothers.”

“Wow, this is unreal,” said Watkins Thursday. “It’s a big brotherhood from coast to coast.”

The 26-year-old Watkins spent four years as a firefighter in Canada before taking up football. He only has four years of actual football playing experience, but played ice hockey and rugby in high school, while growing up in Kelowna, British Columbia — and has two fake teeth to prove it.

He played left tackle in college, but scouts feel that he is better suited for inside guard in the NFL. While he lacks elite athleticism, his size — at 6-foot-3, 310 pounds — strength and nastiness make him a good fit for the Eagles.

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