Eagles draft former firefighter Watkins in Round 1

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“This was the guy we wanted,” Reid said.

Watkins could step in and start at right guard. The Eagles used Max Jean-Gilles and Nick Cole there last season. He also could figure into the mix at right tackle over Winston Justice and King Dunlap.

“I’m a highly motivated person,” Watkins said. “I don’t think (starting) will be an issue.”

Watkins was attending Butte College near Sacramento, Calif., to study fire science, when someone suggested he should try football. He landed at Baylor after his sophomore year and wound up replacing Jason Smith, the NFL’s No. 2 overall pick in 2009, at left tackle and held down that spot the past two seasons. Watkins was a first-team All-Big 12 Conference performer as a senior.

Watkins started working as a volunteer firefighter at 17, getting paid per call and spending one year living in a fire hall with guys who were mostly years older. Some members of his fire department were present at Radio City Music Hall to hear his name announced as a first-round pick.

So what makes someone want to be a firefighter?

“The guys you work with,” he said, “and the desire to help people.”

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